News & Politics

Why Everyone’s Talking About Bartees Strange’s New Album, ‘Farm to Table’

The DC-area musician is having a moment

Photograph by Ashley Gellman

Bartees Strange has just released his highly anticipated second full-length album, Farm to Table, and it’s already earning rave reviews and lots of press attention. The album is the follow-up to 2020’s Live Forever, which was one of that year’s most lauded recordings.

Strange is based in Falls Church, where he still works at a recording studio. Born in the UK and raised in Oklahoma, he moved to the DC area after getting a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. Before deciding to focus on music, he served as the FCC’s deputy press secretary for a brief period. After a stint in Brooklyn, he returned to the DC area three years ago and has become a key part of the music community. “Since moving here, I’ve met so many people, and it’s a really beautiful scene,” Strange told Washingtonian last year. “This is a real-ass music city.”

Farm to Table is as musically eclectic as Strange’s previous work, and much of it is about his relationship with his family, according to a recent interview with NPR. The artist, who grew up in a religious household with his opera-singer mother and military father, said the record is about looking to the people who came before him. It also covers themes such as social justice, racism, and politics, including one song—”Hold the Line”—that’s about George Floyd’s young daughter, Giana Floyd.

Strange is currently touring in Europe, but he is headed back to the region in October for Merriweather Post Pavilion’s All Things Go Music Festival.

Maggie Hicks
Editorial Fellow