Nathaniel Rateliff has been an undeniable presence on the local scene for years, from fronting the critically lauded Born in the Flood to, more recently, serving as the driving creative force of the Wheel. With Flood, Rateliff's expressive vocals added a layer of distinction to already stirring indie-rock compositions. When he's on his own, though, his captivating voice — which has stilled more than a few boisterous crowds — showcases the subtler nuances of his songwriting. On the heels of successful stints at last fall's CMJ New Music Marathon in New York City and March's SXSW in Austin, which generated positive notices from Brooklyn Vegan and Vanity Fair, Rateliff has truckloads of momentum going into the release of In Memory of Loss, his Rounder Records debut due out this spring. Finally, Rateliff seems poised to get the national recognition he so richly deserves.