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Say Goodbye to Pretty Boy

by Bartees Strange

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supergranular thumbnail
supergranular For the love of god reissue this on vinyl. Just a fantastic record in every way. Favorite track: Lemonworld.
joshua wayne hensley
joshua wayne hensley thumbnail
joshua wayne hensley the National covers are fantastic (I like them better than the originals), but Going Going is the highlight for me. Favorite track: Going Going.
ybmichaelpaul thumbnail
ybmichaelpaul Cuz Bartees is awesome! Favorite track: About Today.
Curtis Reeves Jr.
Curtis Reeves Jr. thumbnail
Curtis Reeves Jr. This record did something that transcends music to me. It is one of those records that made me feel seen, heard, included. The reinterpretations are amazing and the originals are revelatory. I want to live in a word where this is the passion that artists approach their craft with. This record goes and goes and goes and goes. Thank you strange.
You really did that!! Favorite track: Going Going.
sblovits thumbnail
sblovits I am a massive National fan and this record blew me away. It captures the same desperate ache, but paints that picture with different colors. Thank you so much for this! Favorite track: All The Wine.
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  • Say Goodbye To Pretty Boy vinyl EP
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About Today 03:48
Lemonworld 03:16
Mr. November 04:13
All The Wine 02:46
Going Going 04:18
HAGS 03:32


Say Goodbye to Pretty Boy is Bartees Strange’s debut EP. It reimagines the songs of The National, a genre-defining indie rock staple for people of Bartees' generation. Strange — a black artist from Mustang, Oklahoma — uses everything from the cover art to his reading of the lyrics to allude to how black artists can find room in white spaces. The EP is both a heart-felt homage and a political act of critique. And it sounds like it was made with energy, intelligence & love.

The National have been a soundtrack to Bartees’ journey as an artist, and a lens for some of that journey’s more jarring lessons. Moving from Oklahoma to Brooklyn to pursue music, Bartees was looking for the mythic artistic community that included people of color from across the country. He found an incredible scene of black and queer artists that welcomed him into their world — but he also found many of the same old patterns and problems.

At a 2019 National show in DC, Bartees was struck by how few black folks were in the crowd. Why was it so rare to see black people at shows like these; to see black musicians freed from reductive definitions of genre; to see black acts with this level of success in a genre that is deeply informed by legacies of black music in America? Bartees felt compelled to recast these songs, focusing on the elements that made him fall in love with them. In translating them, he was speaking to the possibilities and contradictions within the genre.

The EP’s cover art reflects these themes of context and contradiction. It features the tri-color Pan-African flag — what is “national”? — and a black sticker, its edges scraped and frayed, a nod to the cover of Bad Brains’ Black Dots. “They try to tear that black dot off the surface, but it’s still there,” Bartees explains. “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 everyday


released March 13, 2020

Recorded at Strange Land Studios (Washington, DC) and Black Lodge Recording (Brooklyn, NY)

Featuring: Carter Zumtobel, Dan Kleederman, Brian Demeglio, Brian Turnmire, Ceilidh Gao, and Dillon Treacy

Production: Spencer Murphy and Graham Richman

Engineering: Bartees Strange, Graham Richman, Brian Dimeglio, Carter Zumtobel and Spencer Murphy.

Mixing & Mastering: Chris Connors (GrandKid)


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Bartees Strange Washington, D.C.

Bartees Strange is a producer and songwriter in Washington, D.C.His mother is an opera singer. His dad served in the military for decades. He traveled widely for his parents jobs — born in Ipswich, England 1989, his family did stints in Germany, Greenland, and a number of states across america before he hit his 12th birthday when they settled down in Mustang, Oklahoma. ... more


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