Bartees Strange – Stream the Debut Album and Read Our Interview and Rave Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, December 1st, 2020  

Bartees Strange – Stream the Debut Album and Read Our Interview and Rave Review

Live Forever Out Now via Memory Music

Oct 02, 2020 Photography by Julia Leiby
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Washington, D.C.-based singer/songwriter/guitarist Bartees Strange (real name Bartees Cox Jr.) has released his debut album, Live Forever, today via Memory Music. Now that it’s out you can stream the whole thing below. Also, today we posted our rave review of the album and you can read that here, as well as an interview with Strange about the album that we posted today (read that here).

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). Then he shared one more pre-release single from it, “Kelly Rowland,” via a video for the short track (which also made 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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