May 12, 2022
By Mark Redfern
Photography by Luke Piotrowski
Bartees Strange is releasing a new album, Farm to Table, on July 17 via 4AD. Now he has shared its third single, “Hold the Line,” which is about George Floyd’s daughter, Gianna. Listen below, followed by Strange’s upcoming tour dates.
Strange had this to say about the song in a press release: “I remember watching George Floyd’s daughter talk about the death of her father and thinking wow—what a sad introduction to Black American life for this young person. It was painful to watch her grow up in that moment, like all Black kids eventually do.
“‘Hold the Line’ was written over the course of three days during that first pandemic summer. Through this song I was trying to make sense of what was happening in the U.S., my neighborhood and my community at that moment. During the marches people were trying to stop the bleeding, locked arm in arm, doing everything they could to hold the line.”
Farm to Table includes “Heavy Heart,” a new song he shared in March via a music video when he announced his signing to 4AD. “Heavy Heart” was one of our Songs of the Week. When the album was announced in April he shared its second single, “Cosigns,” via a video for the song (which was one of our Songs of the Week).
Farm to Table is due out digitally on July 17 via 4AD (his first for the label), with an LP and CD release expected in October. It is the second full-length album from the Washington, D.C.-based musician (full name Bartees Leon Cox Jr.), the follow-up to his highly acclaimed debut album, Live Forever, which came out in 2020 via Memory Music (a deluxe edition followed last year and included the new song “Weights,” which was one of our Songs of the Week). Live Forever was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2020.
A previous press release described Farm to Table in greater detail: “Where his 2020 debut record Live Forever introduced the experiences and places that shaped Bartees (Flagey Brussels, Mustang Oklahoma), Farm to Table zeros in on the people—specifically his family—and those closest to him on his journey so far. With his career firmly on the ascent, Farm to Table examines Bartees’ constantly shapeshifting relationship with life post-Live Forever. It also speaks to a deeper lore that says, don’t forget where you came from, and this album is why. Always remembering where he came from, across 10 songs Bartees is celebrating the past, moving towards the future and fully appreciating the present.”
Strange first garnered attention for covering a string of The National tracks, including on Say Goodbye to Pretty Boy, his EP of National covers released in 2020 on Brassland, a label run by members of the band. He was born in Ipswich, England, but grew up in Mustang, a largely the white and conservative rural town outside Oklahoma City, before launching his music career in Washington, D.C. In between he also worked in the Obama administration.
Bartees Strange 2022 Tour Dates:
May 13 – SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Kilby Block Party
June 18 – LOS ANGELES, CA, The Getty [on sale June 4]
July 3 – WERCHTER, BE, Rock Werchter 2022
July 4 – COLOGNE, DE, Helios37
July 5 – HAMBURG, DE, Molotow
July 7 – BERLIN, DE, Badehaus
July 9 – MADRID, ES, Mad Cool Festival 2022
July 11 – MUNICH, DE, Milla
July 12 – FRIBOURG, CH, Festival Les Georges
July 13 – REES-HALDERN, NL, Haldern Pop Bar
July 14 – AMSTERDAM, NL, Upstairs @ Paradiso
July 16 – LEEDS, GB, Community Room @ Brudenell Social Club
July 17 – MANCHESTER, GB, Night & Day Café
July 19 – CARDIFF, GB, Clwb Ifor Bach
July 20 – BRIGHTON, GB, Patterns
July 21 – LONDON, GB, Powerhaus
July 22 – SUFFOLK, GB, Latitude Festival
July 29 – OMAHA, NE, Maha Festival 2022
August 7 – CALGARY, AB, Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
August 8 – BONNER, MT, KettleHouse Amphitheater
August 9 – OGDEN, UT, Ogden Amphitheater
August 10 – DILLON, CO, Dillon Amphitheater
August 13 – NORTH ADAMS, MA, MASS MoCA
August 26 – TORONTO, ON, Budweiser Stage
October 1 – COLUMBIA, MD, All Things Go Music Festival