Bartees Strange Shares Video for “Flagey God” and Announces New EU Tour Dates

Jun 01, 2021

By Mark Redfern


Washington, D.C.-based singer/songwriter/guitarist Bartees Strange (real name Bartees Cox Jr.) released his debut album, Live Forever, last fall via Memory Music (it was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2020). Now he has shared a video for the album’s “Flagey God” and announced some new EU tour dates. Drew Horen directed the black & white video. Check it out below, followed by the tour dates.

Strange had this to say about the song in a press release: “In my spare time, I make beats all the time. It’s honestly more fun than writing with guitars sometimes. ‘Flagey God’ came from a really natural and comfortable place for me musically, despite its moodiness thematically.”

The song was inspired by a trip to Flagey Square in Brussels Strange took, where a press release says he remembers “being in a place for the first time where he could be anyone he wanted.” Strange adds: “No one knew me there. I was super lost in my life at the time and confused about what to do next, but in Flagey, I felt like I was capable of anything… A Flagey God.”

Read our rave review of Live Forever here.

Read our interview with Strange about Live Forever here.

In July 2020, Strange announced that the album was coming last fall, but shared no other details beyond releasing its first single, “Mustang” (which was one of our Songs of the Week). Then in August 2020, Strange officially announced Live Forever and shared another song from it, “Boomer,” via a video for the track (which made it to #1 on our Songs of the Week list). Then he shared one more pre-release single from it, “Kelly Rowland,” via a video for the short track (which also made our Songs of the Week list). In January, Strange made his late night TV debut, performing “Boomer” with his full band on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Then he performed a Tiny Desk (Home) Concert for NPR.

Live Forever was recorded in a barn studio in Wassaic, NY. It was later mastered by Grammy-nominated producer Will Yip. A previous press release dug into the album’s genre-blurring sound: “It spans gentle, Moses Sumney-meets-Yves Jarvis minimalism, Kings of Leon-ish indie rock vigor with post-punk cracks in its danceable veneer, the throbbing industrial alt-soul of Algiers, Justin Vernon’s acoustic tenderness, and the volatile, unforgiving production and delivery of Death Grips.”

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. “Boomer” is partly about getting stoned with his dad for the first time and how his dad is proud of the growth Strange has experienced since leaving Mustang. “Things are changing,” Strange said in a previous press release. “I can change too, and this is who I want to be.”

Live Forever finds Strange taking full creative control. “I’m often the only Black guy in the room when I’m playing in a band or working in a studio and I’ll be honest, I don’t think the engineer always knew what I wanted to capture, what I was trying to do or what I was referencing,” Strange said. “I wanted a space where I could be in control of how it was gonna sound, and have people there to check me that I trust.”

Bartees Strange Tour Dates:

tickets on sale now:

Sat Sept 11 – Chicago, IL – Pitchfork Festival
Fri Sept 24 – Flushing, NY – Governors Ball
Thurs Sept 30 – Vancouver, BC – Hollywood Theatre *
Fri Oct 1 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom *
Sat Oct 2 – Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre *
Tues Oct 5 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Urban Lounge *
Weds Oct 6 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theatre *
Fri Oct 8 – Iowa City, IA – Englert Theatre *
Sat Oct 9 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue *
Tues Oct 12 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall *
Thurs Oct 14 – Toronto, ON – The Opera House *
Fri Oct 15 – Montreal, QC – L’Asataral *
Sat Oct 16 – Boston, MA – House Of Blues *
Mon Oct 18 – South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground *
Fri Oct 22 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club *
Fri Oct 29 – San Francisco, CA – Outside Lands
Weds Nov 3 – Reykjavik, Iceland – Iceland Airwaves

* = with Lucy Dacus

tickets on sale Friday:

Sun Nov 7 – Munich, Germany – Milla Club
Mon Nov 8 – Berlin, Germany – Badehaus
Weds Nov 10 – Koln, Germany – Helios 37
Fri Nov 12 – Cardiff, UK – Clwb Ifor Bach
Sat Nov 13 – Glasgow, UK – The Hug and Pint
Sun Nov 14 – Manchester, UK – YES
Tues Nov 16 – Leeds, UK – Brudenell Community Room
Weds Nov 17 – London, UK – Powerhaus
Sun Nov 21 – Brussels, Belgum – Witloof Bar
Mon Nov 22 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso Up

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