Grammy-winning R&B singer/songwriter Leon Bridges and the otherworldly Houston trio Khruangbin released their collaborative Texas Moon EP, a follow-up to 2020’s acclaimed Texas Sun, recently with praise from The New York Times, NPR, Vulture, Uproxx and more. Today, the pairing shares an animated video for the EP’s sultry slowjam “Chocolate Hills,” a stripped-down song that highlights Bridges’ voice amidst its very own Willy Wonka-treatment. “Over Johnson’s calming snare taps, Lee’s gentle groove, and Speer’s subtle tweaks everywhere else, Bridges’ delivery hits distinctly different. Almost as if Khruangbin gave him something he’d been missing,” says Uproxx.
An extension of the two’s chart-topping four-song Texas Sun journey, Texas Moon is an introspective stroll through the dark. Crediting their mutual home state for inspiration, the second EP 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. Bandcamp gives the EP’s fresh sounds a stamp of arrival, saying “Chocolate Hills” sounds like “an R&B love song in a stripped-down Frank Ocean vein,” while the FADER praised its equally timeless nature, saying the song “could easily sit next to Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together,’ Barry White’s ‘Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Baby,’ and Marvin Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing’ on your special bedroom playlist.”
Elsewhere on Texas Moon, the song “Doris” pays tribute to Bridges’s late grandmother, and sets the project’s pensive mood with its slowed down instrumentation, while the funk-filled “B-Side” sits comfortably in the Khruangbin cannon with its prolonged guitar playing. Singing about romantic longing, Bridges’s velvety voice anchors Khruangbin’s trippy rock instrumentation in passion and poignancy.
On “Mariella,” the airy vocals that Khruangbin have sprinkled across previous projects find new purpose behind Bridges’s easy lead. “Maybe I’ll write a letter from this little old country town, down in Texas/ I’ll keep it here for you/ Mariella, Mariella, Mariella, Mariella, he sings over distant, delicate “oohs” and reverb-rich guitar strums.
Khruangbin will soon embark on a run of US tour dates in Miami, Berkeley, Houston and more with support from Toro Y Moi & Men I Trust. They’ll then head on an extensive European tour where they will make their headlining debut performance at London’s iconic Alexandra Palace and play cities such as Switzerland, Amsterdam, Paris, and more with the band’s debut headlining two-night-run at Radio City Music Hall this March, solidifying Khruangbin’s most monumental tour to date. Bridges will also set out on the road in Europe this March with support from Chiiild and play a US headlining stadium tour this fall with shows at the Forum in LA, NYC’s Forest Hills and more with support from Little Dragon in support of his two time Grammy-nominated album ‘Gold-Diggers’ Sound.
In tandem with his Gold-Diggers Sound Grammy recognition, Bridges is also nominated for the Best Traditional R&B Performance for his Robert Glasper-featured track “Born Again.” Stay tuned for more to come from this pairing soon.