This summer is certainly a bit different from those in the past several decades, and the music has at times reflected that (see Run The Jewels), but the business often serves as an outlet or escape from our pain. Enter Houston trio Khruangbin, comprised of bassist Laura Lee, guitarist Mark Speer, drummer DJ Johnson, who have released their new album Mordechai. Their far-flung influences over the years have caused fans and critics to scratch their heads and stroke their chins trying to categorize the band when really that isn’t the point. Bringing together East Asian surf-rock, Persian funk, psychadelica, Jamaican dub and more all into one record, the group has crafted something that feels like the perfect album to relax with this summer.
The album is a cultural melting pot, largely relying on their own instrumental influences, but they do occasionally sing in languages such as French on “Connassais De Face” or more prominently in Spanish on “Pelota,” which feels more at home with the group’s roots in Texas.
The bass lines walk across songs with the purpose and grace of a well-groomed and confident Shiba Inu out on a walk. The drums can be meandering and lazy or resolute and upbeat, providing the backbone for irresistible funk. Some tracks are meant for dancing like the impassioned call for living in the funky moment on “Time (You and I)” and some are for lying back with the warm sun on your face and a cold drink in your hand like “One to Remember.”
Mordechai is the type of album built for the summer. Things may not be normal for a while, but this can make things feel pretty good for a little while. That should count for something.
Stream the album below and get your copy here.