Khruangbin and Leon Bridges new single “C-Side” is a little less straight-forward than its predecessor “Texas Sun” but that’s all right. You’ll dig this tune after a few listens as it’s a Latin-fueled polyrhythmic-laden wah-wah fest. There are a lot of hyphens in that last sentence and that’s ok.
Their first time writing with a vocalist, Texas Sun finds Khruangbin—comprised of LauraLee (bass), MarkSpeer (guitar), and Donald “DJ” Johnson (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. The state’s music is as varied and wild as its geography, producing Southern rap pioneers GetoBoys and UGK, lysergic trailblazers The 13th Floor Elevators, and genres-unto-themselves like St. Vincent, Gary Clark Jr., and Beyoncé. TexasSun lives here too, a record that calls equally to the chopped-and-screwed hip-hop fans rattling slabs on the southside of Houston, to those who grew up on listening to both mariachi and post-hardcore out on the Mexican borders of El Paso, to the Austin acid-dropping art school kids.
Texas Sun started on the road and wrapped up in the studio. Both Bridges and Khruangbin had been touring nonstop behind their acclaimed sophomore LPs when their paths converged for a joint North American tour in 2018, a run of shows stretching from Los Angeles to New York. Although both of their musical lanes were slightly different, they shared a dusty, laid back vibe. When a Khruangbin session yielded a song that seemed like it might pair well with Bridges’ voice, the band sent it over. Bridges returned the track with his vocals the very next day. They all soon decamped to the studio with engineer SteveChristensen, hoping to make it into a B-side. But everything flowed so naturally, it was obvious this would be something bigger, leading to Texas Sun.