Tuesday night, Nathaniel Rateliff performed his song “Time Stands” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The song appears on Rateliff’s new solo album, And It’s Still Alright. “Time Stands” is a vague, yet soulful love story that seems to have gone awry. The chorus bleeds with sentiments of devotion and endearment: “Are you just too old? Or too young to carry? / Time stands in a duel, I stand for you.”
Rateliff’s performance features beautiful melodies from his acoustic guitar, a keyboard and a four-piece string section. The honesty in his voice while he tells a painful tale is moving. His voice is low and hearty, but when he slides up to a folk-shout to wash us in anguish, the change in pitch is chilling. He’s been through a divorce since his last studio release, and those emotions are definitely present.
And It’s Still Alright was originally centered around Rateliff’s crumbling relationship, but the subject matter shifted when Rateliff’s longtime friend and producer, Richard Swift, died in 2018. His focus expanded then, and the project became a reflection of the hope and new perspective born from struggles like these. This album encapsulates two milestones in Rateliff’s life journey, and we can hear the inner peace he’s unraveling in these experiences.
Rateliff’s album And It’s Still Alright is out now and his sold-out North American tour starts March 3. Watch his performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert below, along with a 2013 Rateliff performance from the Paste archives, and revisit our recent interview with the artist here.