Bartees Strange, the Oklahoma-raised crafter of propulsive indie-rock, has shared a preview of his upcoming debut album in the form of a new single and video for “Mustang.” A driving, colossally anthemic ode to the town in which Bartees grew up in–one whose predominantly white population made him feel an all too familiar pressure and fear P.O.C. often feel in white neighborhoods. Not wanting to be seen in order to ease the racist anxieties of the people in his community, on “Mustang” Bartees invigorates his identity–one he’d previously hid from the world.
The film, directed by Drew Horen but shot entirely by Bartees in his apartment, squeezes all of Bartees’ anxieties about identity into a gloomy, de-saturated fever dream; one that crashes and cuts like a VHS tape, catching his transformation in the process. Because even in the prison-like confines of the film’s television-world, the ode he gives to his town on “Mustang” is one transformative growth. It rushes breathlessly through grandiose soundscapes and big sonics, highlighting an impossibly complex resolution of so many conflicts and pains in Bartees’ life–and the triumph is so evidently there.
Earlier this year Bartees released his Say Goodbye to Pretty Boy EP, a collection of covers of The National. His debut album is slated for release this fall. Visit his website and Instagram to stay updated on new releases and announcements.