Khruangbin and Leon Bridges 'Texas Sun' Review
Updated: Mar 8
By Lewis Oxley
Texas Sun is the latest project to come from neo-psychedelic folk outfit Khruangbin, featuring soul singer-songwriter, Leon Bridges. The E.P. consists of four new tracks that blend the powerful and untamable voice of Bridges to the sound of calm acoustic folk done with a psychedelic twist. The combination on this E.P. works very well with Bridges' classic retro style reminisent of Otis Redding and to a lesser degree, Wilson Pickett. Bridges has still proved to be the reviver of the great male soul vocalists of the 1960s. As someone who has been familiar with some of Bridges' work before, I approached this album more from the soul perspective and less of that of Khruangbin.
After delving more into the background of Khruangbin, it became clear as to why they chose to collaborate with Bridges, both musicians are heavily influenced from the 60s and 70s in more than just music, but style and stage presence. The title track of the E.P immediately casts you back to a time and place that I certainly had been before musically: the dock of the bay sat on by Otis Redding, yet also with a long road trip through the American wilderness. The sense of location and homeliness is a theme that runs through this song, but feature heavily in Bridges' other work most notably, his 2015 debut, Coming Home for fairly obvious reasons.
As for the musicianship regarding Khruangbin, it compliments the vocal style of Bridges creating a balanced synergy, the slick ghost notes of drummer, DJ Johnson on "C-Side" finds a deeper groove that leaves the track oscillating between the trio of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer, fluid guitar riff, with another layer of additional procession on top, gives a wild feel to the track, a feature that make use of the theme of open space landscape. The two tracks blend into each other onto a journey into musical interaction with a deep swampy landscape.
Coming to favourite track on the E.P, "Sensation" takes a long route (the song is over six and a half minutes) capturing the isolation felt by Bridges in his lyrics "you left my lonely heart" he opens with. The mood of this number is nothing short of melancholic, the angst in Bridges' voice is evident, this complete with Speer's serenading guitar solo that cries in angst also. "Sensation" is quite fitting in being the final destination that gets us to sentimentally reflect upon ourselves.
This effort is a great mash-up of retro-pop at its finest, sweet soul swings high on this E.P and truly a record to listen to at sunset. A moody record that takes you on a journey.