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Bartees Strange - Magic Boy

Bartees Strange - Magic Boy

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Bartees Strange has been one of the most significant indie artists to breakout 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 his first LP Mustangwhich was named to endless year end best lists including those from Pitch-fork, Stereogum, Rolling Stone, and NPR Music.

He quickly signed to 4ADand his debut for the label Farm To Table turned him into a club headlinerand an arena-sized opening act with genre-defining artists such as TheNational, boygenius, Phoebe Bridgers and Courtney Barnett. The vinyl-exclusive release Magic Boy represents the Bartees story beforethis story began —33 1/2 minutes of recordings created before he entered the public eye, with 8 out of 10 never previously released.

It finds his evermalleable sound touching on genres like coffee house folk (“IDK” - “Best OfYou” - “You’re Here”), emo troubadour (“Count It Back” - “Little Brother”), and wigged-out experimentation (“Eat Your Heart Out”). Appended withtwo tracks previously available only as digital b-sides from Say Goodbye (“HAGS” - “Going Going”) it reads as a kind of “lost” album for someoneshaping up to be a major voice in indie music.

Bartees’ story is a fairy tale of independent community and a triumph ofefforts to diversify what the word “indie rock” even means, reclaiming itfor Black artists. The Magic Boy LP is a fine way to celebrate BarteesStrange’s explosive trajectory and his run of dates opening for The Nationalat arenas across Europe in autumn 2023.
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