Khruangbin returned last year with Mordechai, the Houston-based trio’s acclaimed third album released via Dead Oceans in association with Night Time Stories. Mordechai earned glowing praise upon release, including features in The New York Times Sunday Arts & Leisure, W Magazine, Billboard, i-D, Newsweek, Relix, and more, plus year-end love from the likes of The Los Angeles Times (“Best Songs of 2020”), The FADER (“The 50 Best Albums of 2020”), Billboard (“Best Rock Albums of 2020”), SPIN (“Best Albums of 2020” & “Best Songs of 2020”), Uproxx (“Best Album of 2020”), and beyond. Today, they return to highlight one of Mordechai’s most emotive tracks, “Dearest Alfred,” with a pair of visual pieces to accompany both the album version of the track, as well as a brand new remix by Knxwledge.
As evident throughout Mordechai, the band pulls influence from specific memories. “Dearest Alfred” was inspired by a trove of letters bassist Laura Lee Ochoa’s grandfather wrote to his twin brother.
While the original version of “Dearest Alfred” is laidback and lush, Knxwledge’s reworking of the track brings all of his techniques to bear on the band with superb results, the ethereal vocal, floating above somewhere in the cosmos. “I love doing remixes so I approached it like everything else,” explains Knxwledge, who’s known for both his own solo work in addition to his work with Anderson .Paak as NxWorries. “I try to smooth it out while making it as hard hitting as possible.” Of Khruangbin, he says simply, “I’m just a fan like everyone else. They are so unique; the sound they have just resonates with the sounds I grew up loving and most influenced by. Beautiful progressions with perfect minimal, yet so powerful, lyrics. What more can you ask for?”
Both “Dearest Alfred” videos were made by The Kennedys, a tutored internship program led by Preety Mudhar at Wieden+Kennedy London, a creative agency. To make the video for the original track, eight participants, from all corners of the UK, came up with ideas, shot and edited their parts of the film, which is a celebration of writing, sending and receiving letters. They filmed, edited, and animated all from their own homes. Help came from former Kennedys Sammy Watts-Stanfield with production and Sof Vujanic helping with pick-up shots. Inspired by Knxwledge’s take on “Dearest Alfred,” The Kennedys took the original music video and visually remixed it. They re-edited and created a monochrome version and then used animation overlays and footage layering to create a remix aesthetic.
“In a year where communication has a new spin of importance and focus has been put on the postal service, we wanted to make a video highlighting that sentiment for a song based on letters my grandfather sent to his brother,” says Khruangbin’s Laura Lee Ochoa. “Working with The Kennedys, we were able to highlight these feelings from a variety of perspectives and through a variety of mediums–which felt important to the project.
“I’ve been a big fan of The Kennedys since working at W+K, as it gives creatives that lack work experience a chance to gain some amidst the beautiful chaos of real agency life, and feel extremely proud for the opportunity to work with them on such a meaningful project. Our zoom call with them presenting us their ideas for the video was one of my favorite moments of quarantine–I felt incredibly inspired and humbled. This project ended up being two-fold: the original video for ‘Dearest Alfred’ and a remixed video for the remix of ‘Dearest Alfred’ by Knowledge. I love what we made together.”