Editors’ Notes Bartees Strange, aka Bartees Cox Jr., has formed his artistic personality by exploring many genres: hip-hop, indie rock, electronica, R&B, folk, gospel. Take your pick. And yet the Washington, D.C., multi-instrumentalist’s debut LP doesn’t lump these together so much as embrace his love for all of them. As he puts it on “Mossblerd,” one of the most experimental cuts on here: “Genres keep us in our boxes.” Strange navigates all of these with a clear sonic cohesion, showcasing his tremendous range as a producer and songwriter—whether it’s lush, atmospheric art-pop (“Kelly Rowland”), anthemic surf rock over rap-influenced verses (“Boomer”), or driving techno with soulful touches (“Flagey God”). If there is a thread to this music, it is getting in touch with his identity. On “Mustang,” he’s flooded by memories of growing up as a Black kid in rural Oklahoma: “But if I didn't move the way I did, then tell me, how else could I be?”

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