In what seems like a short time, Houston trio Khruangbin has gone from a relatively unknown act to the toast of all who hear them. With a name that’s hard to pronounce for those who aren’t in the know, they’ve amassed a large following while continuously releasing music and trotting the globe. But with all of that aside, the true sorcery from the group has always been their hearty mix of funk, soul and rhythms from places not within North America. With their new full length Mordechai, they quickly prove they can take the groove deeper while still delivering plenty of atmospheric tones.
The grooves start up with the chill tones of “First Class” where the band adds little stabs of sound to round out their psych sound. Now with added vocals, the song has an elemental feel to it. The relaxed nature of the song lends itself to a moment where you can just sit back and go on a journey. Followed by the funky and catchy sounds of “Time (You and I)” the band digs their heels in and really takes things to a new place. The backing vocals add new sounds that really round things out, placing the Texas group on a new trajectory. Where “Father Bird, Mother Bird” noodles down a path that’s relaxed and “If There is No Question” continues that orbit, the album has plenty of jams as well as spacey experiences.
“Pelota” delivers on that jam heavy groove, offering plenty of flavors. “One to Remember” isn’t snappy but it definitely carves out a groove that intertwines Eastern and Western tones. And “So We Won’t Forget” touches on seventies R&B with plenty of magical notes that feel like you’re flying over the atmosphere. But as all of these songs have a mix of chill vibes and enchanting strides, our favorite track comes on “Shida.” The album’s closer has the band echoing their early years where experimenting with the fret board meets a transcendental groove. The drums and bass match up perfectly on the track, taking the ride that Khruangbin creates into a whole new dimension.
Mordechai is ready to purchase physically directly from Dead Oceans on multiple formats. It’s also available digitally wherever you download music or it can be streamed on all streaming sites.
Image Credits: Photo by Tamsin Isaacs.