Bartees Strange Shares Video for New Song “Kelly Rowland” | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, October 29th, 2020  

Bartees Strange Shares Video for New Song “Kelly Rowland”

Live Forever Due Out October 2 via Memory Music

Sep 18, 2020
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Washington, D.C.-based singer/songwriter/guitarist Bartees Strange (real name Bartees Cox Jr.) is releasing his debut album, Live Forever, on October 2 via Memory Music. Now he has shared another song from it, “Kelly Rowland,” via a video for the short track. The song is inspired by Strange’s encounter with a group of young Black fulltime artists in Berlin a few years ago. Britain Weyant directed the video, which features Strange singing the song in a dark studio, with simple white animation sometimes overlaid. Watch it below. 

Pick up our current print issue (Issue 67) to read our exclusive interview with Bartees Strange on Live Forever.

In July Strange announced that the album was coming this fall, but shared no other details beyond releasing its first single, “Mustang” (which was one of our Songs of the Week). Then in August Strange officially announced Live Forever and shared another song from it, “Boomer,” via a video for the track (which made it to #1 on our Songs of the Week list).

Live Forever was recorded in a barn studio in Wassaic, NY. It was later mastered by Grammy-nominated producer Will Yip. A press release digs into the album’s genre-blurring sound: “It spans gentle, Moses Sumney-meets-Yves Jarvis minimalism, Kings of Leon-ish indie rock vigor with post-punk cracks in its danceable veneer, the throbbing industrial alt-soul of Algiers, Justin Vernon’s acoustic tenderness, and the volatile, unforgiving production and delivery of Death Grips.” 

Strange first garnered attention for covering a string of The National tracks, including on Say Goodbye to Pretty Boy, his EP of National covers released earlier this year on Brassland, a label run by members of the band. He was born in Ipswich, England, but grew up in Mustang, a largely the white and conservative rural town outside Oklahoma City. “Boomer” is partly about getting stoned with his dad for the first time and how his dad is proud of the growth Strange has experienced since leaving Mustang. “Things are changing,” Strange says in a press release. “I can change too, and this is who I want to be.”

Live Forever finds Strange taking full creative control. “I’m often the only Black guy in the room when I’m playing in a band or working in a studio and I’ll be honest, I don’t think the engineer always knew what I wanted to capture, what I was trying to do or what I was referencing,” Strange says. “I wanted a space where I could be in control of how it was gonna sound, and have people there to check me that I trust.” 

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