Home Read Albums Of The Week: Bartees Strange | Magic Boy

Albums Of The Week: Bartees Strange | Magic Boy

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Bartees Strange has been one of the most significant indie artists to break out in the post-pandemic era.

He debuted with Say Goodbye To Pretty Boy, an album-length collection of The National songs released in March 2020, on the cusp of the pandemic. Later that year came Mustang his first album of original material, which was named to multiple year-end best lists. His next album Farm To Table turned him into a club headliner and an arena-tour opening act with genre-defining artists such as The National, Boygenius, Phoebe Bridgers and Courtney Barnett.

The vinyl-exclusive release Magic Boy captures Bartees before this story began — 33 minutes of recordings created before he entered the public eye, with eight out of 10 tracks previously unreleased. It finds his ever malleable sound touching on genres like coffeefolk (IDK, Best Of You, You’re Here), emo troubadour (Count It Back, Little Brother), and wigged-out experimentation (Eat Your Heart Out). Appended with two tracks previously available only as digital B-sides from Say Goodbye (Hags, Going Going) it reads as a kind of “lost” album for someone shaping up to be a major voice in indie music.

Bartees’ story is a fairy tale of independent community and a triumph of efforts to diversify what the word “indie rock” even means, reclaiming it for Black artists. Magic Boy LP is a fine way to celebrate his explosive trajectory.”