Home Read Albums Of The Week: Bartees Strange | Live Forever

Albums Of The Week: Bartees Strange | Live Forever

The adventurous D.C. artist throws away the rule book on his diverse, brilliant debut.


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Coming off the heels of his highly praised EP Say Goodbye to Pretty Boy — an eclectic collection of reimagined songs from The National’s catalogue — D.C.-based musician Bartees Strange sets to break new ground with his debut LP Live Forever via producer Will Yip’s Memory Music label.

Strange grew up in Mustang, Oklahoma, an overwhelmingly white and racist sundown town on the outskirts of Oklahoma City. In Mustang, he says, “I didn’t let myself be seen. I held myself down so I could make people feel more comfortable around me.” Live Forever is a direct and stunning result of this conviction. It’s impossible to divorce the reality of Strange’s personal trajectory from the intricate and idiosyncratic 11-track saga on record: it spans gentle, Moses Sumney-meets-Yves Jarvis minimalism, Killers-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. Simply put, it is a combination that none but Strange could execute under — and as a result of — precise circumstances.”