Album: Texas Sun
Artist: Khruangbin and Leon Bridges
Label: Dead Oceans
Non-Airable Tracks: None 🙂
Description: Houston’s Khruangbin and Fort Worth’s Leon Bridges both put their Texan pride together with Texas Sun. By colliding Khruangbin’s psychedelic instrumental sound and Bridge’s soulful voice, the team created something that really captures the modern Texan’s heart. Khurangbin’s psychedelic finesse combined with Bridge’s sultry sound create four songs that provide a romantic view of the sunny state and all it has to offer.
The title track “Texas Sun” starts off the EP with chords from Khruangbin’s guitarist Mark Speer that makes you feel like you’re a cowboy walking with your feet shoulder width apart in a saloon with the sun beaming down on your neck and you’re ready for a stand off at any moment. But then- Leon Bridges’ voice comes in and serenades you with a calm shift in the song; and you realize you are a cowboy in love. This song makes you sway back and forth in a calm trance but also break out into air guitar following along with Speer’s notes. The song is mesmerizing and really captures the feeling of a family barbecue with dad flipping burgers and everyone sippin’ on cold beer in a calm way that gives you that nostalgic warm feeling without the chaos. This track somehow made me be able to smell the grill with 5 pounds of smoked meat on it and I loved it.
The second track, “Midnight”, has a sexier feel to it than the three other tracks and adds a different touch to the EP. The instrumentals and vocals go together seamlessly giving the album a suave touch that will make you blush while listening. The background vocals give the track a groovy addition which transforms into a solid solo by guitarist Mark Speer. The drum beat on this is just too good to not dance to yourself to. They way that Bridges speeds up and slows down the vocals throughout the course of this song really just makes you somehow fall in love with this man. Oh to be a girl sitting passenger seat in a 1960’s aqua green Corvette with Leon Bridges smoking out the window and driving around aimlessly while listening to this song. The instrumentals make the song perfect for the moments that Bridges details in his lyrics. You somehow get encapsulated in this movie moment by his lyrics and the slow tempo.
“C-Side” features a bouncier beat but still remains in that mid-tempo range that is what we all love from Khruangbin. Bassist Laura Lee really kills it on this track, adding a sultry bassline to an upbeat track. This however is my least favorite track out of the four despite it sounding more like Khruangbin’s typical sound.
The final track on the EP is “Conversion”, which will likely take you on an emotional rollercoaster. The track creates a darker ending to the EP and is seven minutes of Leon Bridges beautifully confessing his love in the form of an internal monologue. Bridges really delivers on this track vocally and the instrumentals still provide that cowboy-Texas feel to them but in a way that almost closes the night for the confident cowboy from the view of his morning we got on “Texas Sun”. This is a song for a late night walk on a starry night where you’re just hardcore thinking about every single choice you have ever made in your life.
I definitely hope to see more of this from Khruangbin in the future. Bridges and Khruangbin’s sound really compliment one another beautifully and it feels really fresh with more vocals over the bands sound. Their instrumental songs still are truly pieces of art, however the soulful addition really added a lot of dimension to each of these songs. Texas Sun is very different from past projects by Khruangbin like Con Todo El Mundo in that it for one has vocals and also has very slow, tame beats. I believe that we needed a project like this from the group though because it is a perfect piece for the fan that wants to sing along to their funky grooves. I would love to see another collaboration between the two or with Khruangbin and other soul artists in the future.
Sounds Like: Texas Sun really has its own feel and sound to it that I have not heard by many other artists recently. Some other artists though that remind me of Khruangbin are: BADBADNOTGOOD (but Texas Sun has a more soulful sound rather than a jazzy sound), Unknown Mortal Orchestra (again but Texas Sun has a more psychedelic soulful sound rather than electronic-y), Bob Seger, and Tash Sultana.
Reviewer’s Name: Samm Goldstein
Date of Review: February 9, 2020