Khruangbin and Leon Bridges announce their latest collaborative EP, ‘Texas Moon’, out on Dead Oceans.
An extension of the two’s chart-topping four-song ‘Texas Sun’ journey, ‘Texas Moon’ is an introspective stroll through the dark. “Without joy, there can be no real perspective on sorrow,” say Khruangbin. “Without sunlight, all this rain keeps things from growing. How can you have the sun without the moon?”
Crediting their mutual home state for inspiration, ‘Texas Moon’ pensively examines Texas’ musical perception, while paying homage to the marriage of country and R&B that’s become synonymous with the lone star state. Propelled by rolling guitar licks, conga and bongo, lead single ‘B-Side’ meditates on meeting in a dream and frolics across the nearing contemplative night-time state with its longing joy.
Elsewhere on ‘Texas Moon’, the artists channel a newly intimate musical scope that’s illustrated most dramatically when the spacy sensuality of the minimalistic ‘Chocolate Hills’ leads into the stark spirituality addressed on ‘Father Father’, a reminder of both acts’ gospel roots. Over a simple rolling guitar figure, Bridges pleads with the heavens – “Look at the mess that I made / Just a man with unclean hands” – only to be reminded of God’s eternal love.
For Khruangbin, one song in particular was indicative of the trust that Bridges put in them. “The song ‘Doris’ is about his grandmother making the transition from this world to the next realm,” says Khruangbin’s Donald Ray ‘DJ’ Johnson Jr. “It’s a very somber, very deep record. And when someone places that kind of work into your
hands, the last thing you want to do is junk it up, overproduce it, or do too much. We treated it with the respect it deserved, and treated Doris with the respect she deserves.”
“It’s like a short story…,” says the band’s Laura Lee of the music. “And it leaves room to continue having these stories together. It’s not Khruangbin, it’s not Leon, it’s this world we created together.”
Upon its release, ‘Texas Sun’ soared to the No. 1 slot on Billboard’s Emerging Artists Chart along with landing the No.1 on spot on Americana/Folk Albums, among many others. Significantly, both parties’ musical directions were deeply affected by their time working together on ‘Texas Sun’.
Khruangbin’s most recent studio album, ‘Mordechai’, moved their own vocals to the forefront, a change they readily admit was a direct result of working with Bridges.
Their sound was also tapped for remix / reinterpretation of a Paul McCartney song for the ‘McCartney III Imagined’ project. Meanwhile, in addition to his genre-defying Grammy-nominated album ‘Gold-Digger’s Sound’, Bridges has put out several other challenging, shared collaborative tracks, including work with John Mayer, Lucky Daye and, most recently, Jazmine Sullivan. Each of the artists appeared recently on Austin City Limits and will tour throughout the new year.