“Redemption” is a new song Nathaniel Rateliff wrote for the forthcoming Apple Original film, Palmer. Premiering globally on January 29, 2021, exclusively on Apple TV+, Palmer stars Justin Timberlake (The Social Network, Bad Teacher, Alpha Dog), Alisha Wainwright (“Raising Dion,” “Shadowhunters”) and Juno Temple (The Dark Knight Rises, Atonement). The film, directed by Fisher Stevens (Stand Up Guys, Before the Flood, The Cove), tells the story of former high-school football star Eddie Palmer (Timberlake), who went from hometown hero to convicted felon, earning himself twelve years in a state penitentiary. He returns home to Louisiana, where he moves back in with Vivian (June Squibb), the grandmother who raised him. While trying to keep his head down and rebuild a quiet life for himself, Palmer is haunted by memories of his glory days and the suspicious eyes of his small town community. Things become more complicated when Vivian’s hard-living neighbor Shelly (Temple) disappears on a prolonged bender, leaving her precocious and unique 7-year-old son Sam (Ryder Allen), often the target of bullying, in Palmer’s reluctant care. In time, Palmer is drawn into a more hopeful world as he forges a connection with Sam through their shared experience of being made to feel different by those around them. Life improves for Palmer, and a romance develops between him and Sam’s teacher Maggie (Wainwright). An inspiring and unexpected journey unfolds for the three of them, but soon Palmer’s past threatens to tear apart this new life.
“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. The melody and the opening line came to me immediately. But it wasn’t until I had a conversation with Justin [Timberlake] 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,” notes Rateliff.