Julia Leiby


indie rock maestro bartees strange strips back the bombast and creates magic

February 26, 2021

One of the best tests of an artist is how their songs stand up when stripped of production and laid bare. The 90’s gave us gifts of Lauryn Hill and Nirvana’s legendary unplugged sets, and this week NPR has stepped up their game with Tiny Desk sets from Sampa the Great, Lous and the Yakuza, and Meshell Ndegeocello, all of which showcase the raw musicality at the heart of their work. Bartees Strange takes the cake, pulling off the rare magic trick of a performance that is stripped down, mellowed out, and just as electrifying and intense as anything on his dynamic 2020 record Live Forever. Running through some of the highlights from the record (spoiler alert: the whole record is a highlight), his voice is confident and expressive. The only theatrics on display are Strange’s voice and impeccable songwriting, but they are more than enough. Check the set out below.



Don’t sleep on Live Forever. Follow more from Bartees Strange on Twitter @Bartees_Strange