When we caught up with Bartees Strange last year, he told The A.V. Club that he’d already written new music following the big success of his 2020 debut album, Live Forever. Since then, Strange signed to 4AD—getting to be labelmates with his favorite band, The National (he covered the band on his excellent EP Say Goodbye To Pretty Boy). Now, he’s officially announced the next album: Farm To Table, out on June 17.
Much of Live Forever was closely tied to Strange’s relationship with his family and the experiences and places that shaped his life—namely, Mustang, Oklahoma where he grew up. That theme continues in Farm To Table, with the digital press kit noting that it “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.”
Similar to Phoebe Bridgers’ experience in 2020 (albeit, on a smaller scale), Strange became an indie sensation seemingly overnight—but he’d spent years working on music, waiting for this moment. He toured with Bridgers herself, Lucy Dacus, Courtney Barnett, and other notable musicians. He got the attention of Bon Iver and The National. He acknowledges this in new single celebrating the announcement of the new album, “Cosigns.”
Strange is a musical chameleon who often takes on a variety of genres at a time. For “Cosigns,” Strange blends rap, rock, and pop, and name-checking Bridgers, Dacus, Barnett, and Justin Vernon (whom he says he now FaceTimes with) in the lyrics. He jokes about stealing artists' fans. He’s hyping himself up after well-deserved accolades.
But even with that recognition, Strange notes, at the end of the song, that he doesn’t always feel fulfilled. He sings a line from a poem he wrote in his early 20s: “I don’t know how to be full/It’s the hardest to know/I keep consuming I can’t give it up/It’s never enough.”
Besides “Cosigns,” fans can expect to see previously released single “Heavy Heart” on From Farm To Table. The full tracklist is below.
1. Heavy Heart
2. Mullholland Dr
6. Hold The Line
7. We Were Only Close For Like Two Weeks
8. Escape This Circus
9. Black Gold