LISTEN: Khruangbin Take Us to Thailand (via Texas) in “Two Fish and An Elephant”
Houston, they say, is quickly becoming one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country. And while you might know it better for its prodigious traffic, its footprint the size of Rhode Island, and its decidedly homogenous rodeo, there is in fact a large immigrant population that is quietly shaping the city in its image; not for nothing are national food publications crowning Space City “America’s newest capital of great food.”
So it makes sense that three ordinary Texans with an interest in instrumental guitar music would eventually take as much inspiration from East Asia as Explosions in the Sky. Khruangbin‘s Laura Lee, Mark Speer, and Donald Johnson made their debut record in a barn somewhere in the East Texas plains. On their drives out from the city, they’d blast Thai cassettes picked up from the blog Monrakplengthai (a kind of Thai answer to Awesome Tapes From Africa), along with comps of southeast Asian rock and funk. Somewhere out in the great expanse, those sounds melded with American jazz and Texas blues and formed a solid sound of their own.
Khruangbin’s debut, The Universe Smiles Upon You, drops tomorrow, but you can hear the gently flecked sound of lead single “Two Fish and an Elephant” below, and the rest of the record here.
The Universe Smiles Upon You track list
“Two Fish and an Elephant”
“Little Joe & Mary”
“People Everywhere (Still Alive)”
“The Man Who Took My Sunglasses”
“Balls and Pins”
The Universe Smiles Upon You is out November 6 via Late Night Tales.