New to the 4AD family, England-born singer-songwriter Bartees Strange has released his debut single with the label. On “Heavy Heart,” Strange grapples with feelings of guilt, before ultimately deciding to let it go. For years, Strange has felt the burden of guilt; guilt related to his military father and the sacrifices he made to create a better life for him and his family; guilt for the recent death of his grandfather; guilt for touring and being away from his family; and guilt for the success he found with the early pandemic releases of his EP Say Goodbye To Pretty Boy, which contained reimaginings of songs by The National and songs from his debut album, Live Forever.
“This past year, I thought I was broken,” Strange sings in the song’s opening verse. On the chorus, he admits, “Sometimes I feel just like my dad, rushing around,” and that he “never saw the god in that.”
In the song’s accompanying one-shot visual, directed by Missy Dabice, Strange walks through what appears to be the backstage area at a music venue. He is surrounded by clowns, as they follow him, encasing him in a large picture frame. Strange later picks up a guitar and leads a band on stage. Throughout the video, he wears his father’s and grandfather’s old clothes.
Watch “Heavy Heart” above.