Bartees Strange is an amalgamation of musical styles. Listen to any given song on his newest release, Farm To Table, and you can hear hints of early aughts emo, auto-tuned hip-hop vocals, and country blues—all housed in an indie rock veneer. Bartees wide-reaching sound makes perfect sense given his Midwest upbringing and early influences. He was raised in Mustang, Oklahoma as one of the few Black kids in an area rife with racial violence. As a teenager he discovered Christian hardcore punk and for the first time he felt at home in a scene that embraced outsiders of all kinds.
After graduating college and a stint working in D.C., Bartees moved to Brooklyn where he found a bunch of musical collaborators. In 2020 he released his debut album, Live Forever, and this year he dropped his follow-up album, Farm To Table, to critical acclaim.
On today’s episode Justin Richmond talks to Bartees Strange about his ascent into the upper echelon of indie rock, now that he considers artists like Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus friends. Bartees also performs an acoustic version of his song “Heavy Heart," and he plays stems from two songs off his new album, revealing how he is able to expertly build what he calls, “sections on sections.”
You can listen to a playlist of some of our favorite Bartees Strange songs HERE.
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