Depending how you look at pair ups in music, it can be tricky to get on the same page. When artists of a similar sound come together, it can be glorious. When they don’t have much in common it can be disastrous, lest we forget the Sting and Shaggy album. But sometimes, just sometimes, two acts that seem to be in different spaces can create magic together. That’s what the new EP Texas Sun from Khruangbin & Leon Bridges is-magical. Khruangbin the newly appointed masters of chill funk and Bridges, a sort of new era Same Cooke come together here in four songs and remind us that sometimes sorcery is good for us all.
Opening with the chill and swagger inducing Texas tones of “Texas Sun,” Khruangbin wastes no time in making their presence known. Of course Bridges can hold his own here, eloquently singing in his sweet timbre. The mix of the two works so well, it seems like the two were meant for one another. The flow of the track is on a higher plane while Bridges digs deep and lifts the emotional level up with his voice. This get followed by the more relaxed tone of “Midnight,” digging deeper into the funk. The way the keys dance between the drums and the rounded edges of the bass strings creates a sound that comes closer to the soul of the seventies than the edges of Thailand. The song has a swag to it, Bridges vocally offers a soulful top to the funky jam that Khruangbin creates.
But within the four songs there’s a mysticism that lies just beneath the vocals and the music. Almost like a spell that the sounds the two acts create together that gets placed on you, Khruangbin and Leon Bridges go together like warm butter and Texas toast. And while we loved the soulful and relaxed tones of “Conversion,” the real wizardry comes on “C-Side.” Taking cues from seventies funk so much that you’re waiting for Richard Roundtree to come running up, Bridges and Khruangbin elevate their two worlds into a sound that’s not only catchy but full of life as well. But while John Shaft was what funky could be, Khruangbin and Leon Bridges represent what it can be today. Groovy and thick with soulful notes that stick to your sides from beginning to end.
Texas Sun is available on multiple formats directly from Dead Oceans. It can be streamed on all streaming sites or purchased in all digital outlets. Khruangbin is on tour starting April 16 in Auckland, NZ at Spark Arena until June 11 in Porto, Portugal for Primavera Sound. Their tour dates can be accessed here. Leon Bridges is on tour April 24 through 26 at Something in the Water Festival in Virginia Beach, VA until August 22 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. His complete tour dates are located here.
Image Credits: Photo by Pooneh Ghana.