Bartees Strange – “Mustang”
Bartees Strange is a young musician based in Washington, DC. He makes intense emo-punk records and works as an environmental lobbyist, and he’s spent much of 2020 covering the work of the National. Back in March, Strange released Goodbye To Pretty Boy, an album of reimagined versions of songs by the National. Earlier this month, Strange dropped two more National covers, “Looking For Astronauts” and “The Geese Of Beverly Road.” If you were a man predisposed toward covering the National, then this might be an opportune morning to drop another National cover. Instead, Strange has come out with a song of his own.
Strange’s new single is called “Mustang” — as in the horse, and also as in the Oklahoma town where he grew up. It’s a big, hard-thrashing indie rock song, one that piles on the synths and the guitars in grand mid-’00s blog-rock tradition. Strange’s voice is huge, and he brings an urgency to the song that’s rare among today’s DIY indie-rock types. Also, on Twitter he points out that his “Mustang” lyrics quote “Epilogue” from the Antlers’ Hospice.
Strange shot the lo-fi “Mustang” video himself at his house while under quarantine. Check it out below.
Right now, “Mustang” is a standalone single, but it appears that Strange is now a part of Memory Music, the label run by producer Will Yip.