Earlier this month, Khruangbin & Leon Bridges released their new collaborative EP, Texas Sun. Khruangbin’s first time writing with a vocalist, Texas Sun was praised upon release for its seamless collaboration with Bridges, with NPR Music calling it “a perfect pairing.” Texas Sun debuted at #1 on both Billboard’s Emerging Artists Chart and Current R&B Albums Chart, #4 on Top Albums, and #57 on the Billboard Top 200.
Texas Sun is the kind of record made for listening with the windows down and the road humming softly beneath you. Their first time writing with a vocalist, Texas Sun finds Khruangbin—formed of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald “DJ” Johnson on drums—tailoring their exotic funk to Bridges’ soulful melodies. On the EP, these Texas natives meet up somewhere in the mythical nexus of the state’s past, present, and future—a dreamy badlands where genres blur as seamlessly as the terrain.
“We try not to have too much of an intention, because it gets in the way of what the music wants to do,” Lee says. “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.”
Khruangbin and Bridges have also shared a visual for the project’s “warm and leisurely and insinuating” (The New York Times) title track 'Texas Sun'. Directed by Philip Andelman, the video highlights the unique Texan landscape.
"I had never felt this transported by a song, never felt such a powerful need to shoot anything before in my life,” says Andelman. "We traveled out to East Texas and just started driving, creating our own set of adventures as we went along: meetings with pecan farmers in Van Horn, mezcal dealers in Marfa, ranchers in Valentine. We didn’t have much gear, just a camera, some incandescent bulbs, a tripod and ratchet straps. We fell into a family of friends in Marfa who took us over the finish line, rustling up wardrobes and cars, a neighbor with a home to shoot in, an ex-boyfriend with a drone. Calling this a labor of love would be an understatement, it was the ride of a lifetime."
PRAISE FOR KHRUANGBIN & LEON BRIDGES
"...the rare instance in which a collaboration truly sounds like equal parts of its creators.” - NPR Music
“...a meditative, twangy song that blends the band’s Thai-funk proclivities with Bridges’ rootsy vocals.” - Rolling Stone, on “Texas Sun”
"Bridges’ ultra-smooth croon works perfectly when placed on top of guitarist Mark Speer’s deft playing, evoking the wide-open plains and endless roads of Texas.” - Paste
"They bring out the best in each other, and I hope this isn’t the last time they collaborate ’cause I’m already left wanting more.” - Brooklyn Vegan