Songs for the Road No. 12: My Summer Travel Anthem

by Ekua on May 23, 2011 in songs for the road

I frequently find new songs to add to my music collection, but it’s not often that I come across an artist that I can fully get behind. Though finding a new artist is obviously not as exciting as traveling to some out of the way destination, when I do, I feel a delicious sense of discovery akin to exploring a new place.

A few months ago, I discovered and fell in love with the folksy Americana music of Nathaniel Rateliff. I downloaded his album, In the Memory of Loss, and have been listening to it regularly. It’s the kind of album that I like more with each listen.

Whether he’s singing in his Jonny Cash-esque low range or wailing at the top of his range, his vocals are piercing. With a unique and solid voice, his songs are free to be bare, minimally produced, and gimmick free.

A few weeks ago, I saw him perform in San Francisco when he opened for another artist. There was a loud audience that wanted to talk until the opening act came on stage. Despite the noise, he gave an impressive solo performance using just a few guitars and his voice. He is legit.

Many of the songs on his album have a gorgeous and gritty melancholy edge to them, but one of my favorites is the most upbeat, a song called “Laughing”. It’s the perfect song for movement, for taking off, for being unconfined — even when you’re tied down.

So far it’s been my Sunday afternoon anthem. I listen to it as I fold laundry, wash dishes and try to make the most of mundane tasks and the few hours of the weekend I have left.

Now, my summer break and travel are quickly approaching and I wanna listen to it on road trip with my windows rolled down. I wanna listen to it at the airport surrounded by the energy of the coming and going. I wanna listen to it on the roof of a hostel over a local beer while surrounded by an international crew of travelers who’ll be my friends for a moment or maybe more…

And in a more lighthearted setting, complete with a chorus of hippie/hipstery friends:

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