Sit In On Friday – Bartleby Delicate

He’s a self proclaimed nineties boy who explores the emotional realms of the Millennial generation. Up-and-coming artist Bartleby Delicate always keeps the focus on his forward thinking narratives, while also connecting contemporary folk and loop-oriented electronics.

His voice guides us through the ups and downs of our common tensions and experiences. His latest EP “Deadly Sadly Whatever” showcases cinematic quality that stretches the boundaries of imagination. Building on top of his voice, Bartleby merges field recordings and piano chords, which are all driven forward by the underlying beat of  a human heart.

All this talent combined, you can witness in today’s Sit In On Friday Session. We present to you Bartleby Delicate and his special (very different to the original) version of his song “There’s No Need To Be Strong”. 

Please briefly introduce yourself and let us know what you’re currently working on.

My project is called Bartleby Delicate, most people just call me Bert. I recently released my new EP ‘Deadly Sadly Whatever’ and that was the main focus of my work these past months. After all this time producing my music, I am currently figuring out how to set up my live set and reproduce all the things I’ve done on this record. It’s a fun process of rediscovering my own songs and I am obviously very excited to get back to playing live shows again.

How do you feel after having released your EP “Deadly Sadly Whatever” this May? Did the pandemic have any influence on your creative output or the production itself?

Yes, the pandemic had quite a big impact. Before this I normally just only wrote the core of the song and did all of the production in the studio. This wasn’t possible with Covid, so I decided to start the production on my own at home and later a good friend of mine, Antoine Honorez aka Napoleon Gold, helped me to produce it. It was all in all a very introverted process that led to an intimate record with many little details and some faults and cracks that make it so special to me. I think this time taught me a lot about how I want to write my songs in the future because I feel like this is the best I did so far.

Tell us, what’s behind the name? Is it a stage name? Would you describe yourself as a delicate person?

Delicate person haha, maybe, I guess. At least, my music tries to be delicate. The name Bartleby comes from a book called Bartleby the scrivener, it’s a great story, quite mysterious and after all this time, it still makes me think about the world. That’s what I like about it. 

Which song of your EP resonates most with your current mood and why?

I think “Sleeping Song” – I am currently in Italy, laying in the sun. Sleeping Song is just such a chill song, peaceful and happy at the same time. This is how I feel right now.

Your music video for the song “Plastic Flowers” is very authentic, snapshot, or almost documentary-like. What expectations do you have for your own music videos?

I actually tried a lot of different kinds of music videos. This one turned out like that because I felt that this was what everyone needed during the pandemic that was such a grey, depressing time. A little bit of sunshine, nostalgia and holiday vibes were missing.

For my other videos, I always try to give the story of the song another layer with the visuals. Sleeping Song has an animated video, telling the story of a teengager’s quest for their own identity. Winter’s Dark was a collage video. I hear the music differently watching those pictures.

It says you dedicate your music to the Millennial generation. What exactly would you like your listeners to take away from your songs?

I hope that people become a bit more sensitive listening to my music. Opening up to themselves and others, and to give some space for the melancholic feelings inside of us that are part of our lives. It’s about honesty and finding the energy through music to have a positive impact on the world. I don’t want this to sound too moralistic, because I see music more as a companion in an introverted thinking process – for me personally it’s a lot about seeing my own privilege and asking the question on how to deal with it in a healthy way. 

At TITLE magazine we focus on staying true to yourself, your work, and art. Would you say you’ve found your True Identity yet? If so, how would you describe it?

I don’t believe in a true stable identity but rather in a constant search for oneself. Meeting new people, trying out new things, is for me the way to discover a new true self. I find familiar things in something foreign and sometimes I surprise myself by discovering foreign things within myself that I didn’t know of yet. I like the idea of keeping on trying different things and staying humble by never thinking to have found the only truth. I think this is the only way of staying true to yourself, when you never let an idea of an identity be a cage for your life.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and from whom?

Chris Maas, live drummer of Mumford and Sons, who also played drums on my song “Winter’s Dark”, told me during one studio session that he always gives this one advice: Don’t be an asshole. I like this advice – so simple, so true.