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Bartees Strange Performs ‘Live Forever’ Songs for NPR’s ‘Tiny Desk’

Bartees Strange and his band performed an NPR Tiny Desk concert in the basement of his studio in Falls Church, Virginia — not too far from both his and NPR’s home base in Washington, D.C.

The indie artist played several songs from his debut album Live Forever, released last year; in light of the intimate setting, Strange smoothed out the hardcore and emo-inspired rough edges of tracks like “Boomer” and “Mustang” into a sound more reminiscent of neo-soul.

Between songs, Strange took the time to shout out artists and music from the past year that he  enjoyed, including Yves Tumor’s Heaven to a Tortured Mind and the work of Aaron Dessner, who Strange called “the indie rock Michael Jordan.”

“The dude inspires all of us,” Strange said. “The work he did this year — the Taylor [Swift] records, Big Red Machine stuff, the National stuff…As a producer and a person who makes stuff, it’s so wildly inspiring to see someone work like that.”

Last month, Strange made his late-night television debut, performing “Boomer” on Late Night With Seth Meyers. Strange also joined Lorenzo Wolff on a cover of Judee Sill’s “The Pearl,” which will appear on the latter’s upcoming tribute album, Down Where the Valleys are Low: Another Otherworld for Judee Sill, out March 12th.

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