Bartees Strange releasing EP of The National covers, touring (SXSW included)
Washington D.C. songwriter and producer Bartees Strange has previously fronted Brooklyn emo/post-hardcore band Stay Inside, and made music as a folky solo artist, but his most recent direction takes more cues from jazz and TV On The Radio-inspired art rock. After sharing "In A Cab" in 2019, he's releasing his debut EP, Say Goodbye to Pretty Boy, on March 13 via Brasslands. It's a collection of covers of The National, joined by an excellent original track from Bartees, "Going Going." You can listen to that, as well as Bartees' take on The National's 2004 song "About Today," below.
The cover art to Say Goodbye to Pretty Boy, which you can also see below, contains a frayed black sticker, a visual shout out to the cover of Bad Brains' Black Dots. "They try to tear that black dot off the surface, but it’s still there," Bartees says. "Battling erasure has been a big part of my journey as an artist. This black dot represents attempts to undersell the contributions black people have made to genres like indie rock music. Despite the lack of credit, we’re still here and we’re adding to these scenes every day."
Bartees is playing some shows coming up; he'll appear at this year's edition of SXSW, and he also has dates in Washington DC and NYC, where he'll open for Fusilier at The Sultan Room on March 12 (tickets), and play Trans-Pecos on May 7 (tickets). See all of his upcoming dates below.
Bartees Strange: 2020 Tour
3/12 Brooklyn NY @ Sultan Room w/ Fusilier and Wsabi Fox
3/14 Washington DC @ Mystery Inc
5/7 Queens NY @ Trans-Pecos