Bartees Strange

Magic Boy

Image of Bartees Strange - Magic Boy
Record Label

About this item

Bartees Strange has been one of the most significant indie artists to break out 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, ‘Mustang’, which was named in endless year-end Best Of lists, including those from Pitchfork, Stereogum, Rolling Stone and NPR Music. He quickly signed to 4AD, and his debut for the label, ‘Farm To Table’, turned him into a club headliner and an arena-sized opening act with genre-defining artists such as The National, boygenius, Phoebe Bridgers and Courtney Barnett.

The vinyl-exclusive release, ‘Magic Boy’, represents the Bartees story before this story began -33 1/2 minutes of recordings created before he entered the public eye, with eight out of ten never previously released. It finds his ever-malleable sound touching on genres like coffee house folk (‘IDK’, ‘Best Of You’, ‘You’re Here’), emo troubadour (‘Count It Back’, ‘Little Brother’), and wigged-out experimentation (‘Eat Your Heart Out’). Appended with two tracks previously available only as digital Bsides from ‘Say Goodbye’ (‘HAGS’, ‘Going Going’), ‘Magic Boy’ reads as a kind of ‘lost’ album for someone shaping up to be a major voice in indie music.

Bartees’ story is a fairy tale of independent community and a triumph of efforts to diversify what the word ‘indie rock’ even means, reclaiming it for Black artists. The ‘Magic Boy’ LP is a fine way to celebrate Bartees Strange’s explosive trajectory, especially following his run of dates opening for The National at arenas across Europe in Autumn 2023.


1. IDK
2. Going Going
4. Best Of You
5. Eat Your Heart Out
6. You’re Here (Feat. Project Diem)
7. Count It Back
8. Get Over It (Feat. Lizzie No)
9. Little Brother
10. Going Going (Reprise)

Back to top