Bartees Strange – “Heavy Heart”: DJ Pick of the Week

Bartees Strange

“Heavy Heart” by Bartees Strange is Stephanie’s DJ Pick of the Week! Bartees Strange is the stage name of Bartees Leon Cox Jr., a producer and singer-songwriter based in Washington, D.C. He started his music career playing with bands in Washington and Brooklyn, but has since pursued a solo career. Bartees Strange has released a handful of singles and two albums, one of which is a cover song EP. His style combines his past experiences in hardcore groups with the attention to detail of a singer-songwriter.

Bartees Strange’s vision behind “Heavy Heart” is powerful and upfront, even in the instrumentation. Despite the song being upbeat, the instruments can feel heavy and gritty at times. Whereas most songs today opt for simplistic drums, the drum rhythms in “Heavy Heart” are complex and atypical. The drum beat emphasizes the snare and hi-hat over the kick drum. Meanwhile, the guitars form a wall of harmonic sound, while often complementing and responding to each other. The bass more closely follows the drums than the guitars, laying down a funky line that lies just below the two. A group of horns occasionally pokes through these layers, adding a melody when the vocals stop. Bartees’ vocals are rhythmic, with a keen sense of flow and timing. The lower register of his voice effortlessly floats through the wall of sound created by these instruments.

“Heavy Heart” is Bartees Strange’s first major music release in two years. A music video was released alongside the song, with visuals directed by Missy Dabrice. In addition, Bartees Strange will be on tour this spring, with a show scheduled right here in Nashville. Information regarding this tour is available here. Otherwise, be sure to keep up with Bartees Strange through his social media pages, as well as his website. Also, feel free to check out the official music video for “Heavy Heart” via the YouTube video below!

Tune into 100.1 FM or to hear “Heavy Heart” by Bartees Strange as Stephanie’s DJ Pick of the Week. Be sure to let us know your thoughts! Tweet at us with #L100DJPick and share your take on the track.