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Nathaniel Rateliff Wrote a Song for a Justin Timberlake Movie

Nathaniel Rateliff plays an intimate set during the pandemic.EXPAND
Nathaniel Rateliff plays an intimate set during the pandemic.
Aaron Thackeray
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Missouri-born, Denver-based singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff has had no shortage of successes this past year, despite COVID-19 upending the music world and forcing him to cancel his tour. He broke a record for the most shows any artist has played in a single year at Red Rocks; he's doing what he can to promote his new solo album, It's Still Alright; and he's even found time to combat police violence in Greenwood Village.

His latest song, "Redemption," drops today, December 17. He wrote it for the new movie Palmer, which stars superstar musician Justin Timberlake and premieres January 29 on Apple TV.

In the film, Timberlake plays Eddie Palmer, a former high school football star turned felon, who returns home to live with his grandmother in Louisiana after serving twelve years in prison. The town, which once embraced him, treats him with suspicion. Life only gets harder when a neighbor leaves her bullied son in his care, a task he's not exactly eager to take on. Along the way, Palmer falls in love with the kid's teacher, and his volatile past threatens to disrupt his newfound life.

"Redemption" is a soul-stirring track about a man's quest for freedom, filled with the aches and pains characteristic of Rateliff's solo material.

Timberlake himself helped Rateliff shape the song.

“When I was first asked to write a song for Palmer, I was told what the film was about and where the song was going to be used," says Rateliff in an announcement of the release. "The melody and the opening line came to me immediately. But it wasn’t until I had a conversation with Justin that helped me to put the song together. He said the film was about redemption. I saw that in the characters and did my best to add to the scene in the film."

Listen to the new song on streaming services of your choice.

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