Formed of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald “DJ” Johnson on drums; globetrotting Texan trio Khruangbin present their second album ‘Con Todo El Mundo’, set for release on 26th January 2018. The band’s sound is rooted in classic soul & RnB and informed by psychedelia, dub and music from around the world – all captured in widescreen and performed with impeccable style.
Whereas their 2015 debut album ‘The Universe Smiles Upon You’ was influenced by 60s and 70s Thai cassettes and compilations of southeast Asian pop, rock and funk, ‘Con Todo El Mundo’ hops east over India to take inspiration in similarly underdiscovered funk and soul sounds of the Middle-East, particularly from Iran. Laura Lee explains the album’s title: “My grandpa would always ask me ‘Como me quieres?’ (‘how much do you love me’?), and he’d only ever accept one response. ‘Con todo el mundo’ (With all the world).”
Opener ‘Como Me Quieres’ sets the tone with its exotic, spacious, slow-motion funk. In antithesis the album’s first single ‘Maria Tambien’ is filled with urgency and attitude, the accompanying video is a commentary on how Persian actresses and singers disappeared after the revolution. ‘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 introduce a proto-rap 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, 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.
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 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…with all the world.