Rateliff was born in Germany, October 7, 1978. He grew up in rural Missouri, learning to play the drums at age seven. As a young teenager, he taught himself guitar and began writing his own songs. At eighteen, Rateliff moved to Denver for missionary work. In 2002, Rateliff formed Born in the Flood, quickly garnering a large following in Denver and headlining local festivals like the Westword Music Showcase. In Feb, 2007, Born in the Flood released their first full-length album "If This Thing Should Spill" . Despite increasing success with Born in the Flood, Rateliff turned down an offer from Roadrunner Records, and shifted his focus to a more stripped-down, solo effort, playing somber, singer-songwriter content under his name and "Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel" . In 2007, Rateliff released Desire and Dissolving Men on Public Service Records. Nathaniel Rateliff then released In Memory of Loss in the USA on Rounder Records in May 2010, and then in the UK on Decca in March 2011. In Memory of Loss, recorded with producer Brian Deck (Iron & Wine). The New York Times pushed his show in New York City to Mojo, which gave his record a four-star review. On September 17, 2013, Rateliff released his second album, Falling Faster Than You Can Run on Mod y Vi Records. On the same day he set out on a tour with The Lumineers and Dr. Dog, in support of the album.