Posts Tagged ‘Laura Lee’

Khruangbin & Leon Bridges Take a Leisurely Ride Under the <i>Texas Sun</i>

Raw, silken R&B vocalist Leon Bridges and the twisty, turny, psychedelic rock-funk instrumentalists of Khruangbin toured as one package last year, a show of unity between Texan soul makers. Leon Bridges and Khruangbin first crossed paths as the result of a joint tour in 2018, and discovered they had a similar laid-back musical ethos. Texas Sun was the instrumental trio’s first foray into writing with a vocalist, and results on the title track are cozy and seamless. “We try not to have too much of an intention, because it gets in the way of what the music wants to do,” says Khruangbin bassist Laura Lee. “If you just let the music do what it’s supposed to do, it will reveal itself. We tried to take that same approach with Leon. For us, it was opening up our world to have another person in it. But all of it feels like Texas to me.

‘Texas Sun’ from Khruangbin & Leon Bridges collaborative “Texas Sun” EP, out February 7th, 2020 on Dead Oceans, in partnership with Columbia Records and Night Time Stories Ltd.

Image may contain: 3 people, close-up

There’s softness in the trippy funk of Khruangbin’s “White Gloves” that has wrapped around me, and I have no intention of letting it go. Delicate psychedelics spin into velvety rock that’s rooted in ’60s Thai funk and surf music. It might not be what you’d expect from a primarily instrumental Houston trio, two of whose members started out playing gospel music together, but it works.

“This is the first song with lyrics we’ve ever written. We never really thought of ourselves as having a “singer” but we knew that we wanted a voice for Khruangbin. We decided to write about something close to us, tell a story as simply as possible, and sing it together. We created the footage for ‘White Gloves’ many years ago by creating a video feedback loop with a vhs camera and an old television. We always wanted to use it in some way with Khruangbin, and after all of this time, it found what it was missing. It lets the story and the song speak for themselves. ” – Khruangbin

Even the name Khruangbin, which means “engine fly” in Thai, adds another color to the band’s story and sound. After discovering the group through its contribution to Bonobo’s Late Night Tales compilation, I have Khruangbin’s debut album,The Universe Smiles Upon You, in my personal heavy rotation

Band Members
Bass: Laura Lee
Guitar: Mark Speer
Drums: D.J.

Formed of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald “DJ” Johnson on drums; Khruangbin’s sounds are rooted in the deepest waters of world music infused with classic soul, dub and psychedelia. Their 2015 debut album ‘The Universe Smiles Upon You’ was heavily influenced by 60’s and 70’s Thai cassettes the band listened to on their long car journeys to rehearsal in the Texan countryside. ‘Con Todo El Mundo’ takes inspiration not just from South East Asia but similarly underdiscovered funk and soul of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, particularly Iran.

‘Con Todo El Mundo’ is in part dedicated to Laura Lee’s Mexican-American grandfather, a formative influence on the bassist. She says, “My grandpa would always ask me ‘Cómo me quieres?’ (how much do you love me?) And he’d only ever accept one response: ‘Con todo el mundo’ (with all the world). He created his own world to live in. Khruangbin is the world we’ve created.”

Though outwardly unassuming (but no less stylish), the trio’s diverse backgrounds aligned with a shared worldview and passion are at the heart of what makes Khruangbin tick. Their desire in representing international culture is notable given the climate and agenda in certain areas of the US. In some respects it’s throwing back a compliment by reinterpreting artists of other countries reinterpretations of US-based music, which again drew influence from the world. Throughout ‘Con Todo El Mundo’; Laura Lee’s melodic low-end theory, Mark’s lyrical, free-role guitar lines, and DJ’s ever-steady, ever-ready backbeat form something greater than their parts. A statement that crosses languages, ages, cultures and borders.

Opener ‘Cómo Me Quieres’ sets the tone with its exotic, spacious, slow-motion funk while in antithesis the album’s first single ‘Maria También’ is filled with urgency and attitude. ‘August 10’ is a classic Khruangbin track, infused with their signature bass-heavy sound, while also introducing new elements to their chemistry. There’s time for solid disco-funk in the form of ‘Evan Finds The Third Room’ and the band even finds space to nod to P-Funk with a chant towards the end of the evolving jam ‘Lady and Man’. Closing the album, ‘Friday Morning’ – “a song about jumping into love” – skips between laid back Isley Brothers-esque vibes via delicate tempo changes into gentle hymnal passages.

Since the release of ‘The Universe Smiles Upon You’, Khruangbin have spent the past two years playing non-stop worldwide. From a European tour with Father John Misty to supporting Maribou State at Koko, a string of festival dates at Glastonbury, SXSW, Dimensions, Gottwood, Love International, The Great Escape, The Downs with Massive Attack, a joint US tour with Chicano Batman and extended headline excursions; Songkick estimates Khruangbin played around 100 gigs in the past year. The band count it at a fair few more. As a nod to their travels, Laura and Mark have been presenting a weekly “AirKhruang” DJ set live each Friday on their Facebook page, where the pair play a selection of music by artists from a particular city.

http://

The trio continue to play live around the world throughout 2018 starting with a UK tour to follow the album release. A vibe-synchronous soul-unit travelling the planet, honing their craft, absorbing the sights, sounds and feels from cultures across the globe, processing them through the Khruangbin filter and gifting the result back…with all the world.

released January 26, 2018

The dreams you had of starting a band with your girlhood best friend and conquering the world are coming true, at least for the duo of Gurr. Meeting during an American studies class in Berlin, Andreya Casablanca and Laura Lee took the scrawlings in their composition books and put them to song. Today here is the track “Walnuts,” the first single from In My Head out on 14th October through Duchess Box Records . It’s a song of spritely punk, their melodies encouraging you to take the hand of your best friend and dance about the walnut tree they sing of, remembering what it feels like to fall in love.

http://