:: Lovely track , glad I found it!
The lineup: Laura Lee (Bass, Vox), Mark Speer (Guitar, Vox, Percussion), Donald Johnson Jr. (Drums) and Will Van Horn (Pedal Steel).
Taking influence from 1960’s Thai funk – their name literally translates to “Engine Fly” in Thai – Khruangbin’s debut album ‘The Universe Smiles Upon You’ is steeped in the bass heavy, psychedelic sound of their inspiration, Tarantino soundtracks and surf-rock cool. The Texan trio is formed of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald “DJ” Johnson on drums.
‘The Universe Smiles Upon You’ was recorded at their spiritual home, a remote barn deep in the Texas countryside where their first rehearsals took place. The band listened to a lot of different types of music on the long drives out to the country but their favourites were 60s and 70s Thai cassettes gleaned from the cult Monrakplengthai blog and compilations of southeast Asian pop, rock and funk. This had a heavy impact on the direction of the band, the scales they used and the inflection of the melodies; which coupled with the spaciousness of the Texan countryside culminated in Khruangbin forming their exotic, individual sound.
Although the band was conceived as an instrumental outfit, ‘The Universe Smiles Upon You’ features the first Khruangbin recordings with vocals. Tracks ‘People Everywhere (Still Alive)’, ‘Balls and Pins’ and recent single ‘White Gloves’ show a new dimension to the band.
“We never really thought of ourselves as having a “singer” but we knew that we wanted a voice for Khruangbin. We decided to write about something close to us, tell a story as simply as possible, and sing it together.”
The seeds of Khruangbin were sown when Mark and Laura were invited to tour with Ninja Tune’s YPPAH supporting Bonobo across his 2010 American tour. The tour galvanised the two of them to start making music together more seriously, with DJ – he and Mark have played in the same gospel band for years – the natural choice for drums.
Sharing their first recordings, Bonobo included Khruangbin’s ‘A Calf Born In Winter’ on his 2013 Late Night Tales compilation. Subsequently signed to Late Night Tales offshoot Night Time Stories, ‘A Calf Born In Winter’ was released as a single in May 2014, four track EP ‘The Infamous Bill’ followed in October, with covers EP ‘History Of Flight’ on Record Store Day 2015. [via Bandcamp]
“This is the first song with lyrics we’ve ever written. We never really thought of ourselves as having a “singer” but we knew that we wanted a voice for Khruangbin. We decided to write about something close to us, tell a story as simply as possible, and sing it together. We created the footage for ‘White Gloves’ many years ago by creating a video feedback loop with a vhs camera and an old television. We always wanted to use it in some way with Khruangbin, and after all of this time, it found what it was missing. It lets the story and the song speak for themselves.” – Khruangbin
Title of Debut Album: The Universe Smiles Upon You
Release Date: 2015
1. Mr. White 04:58
2. Two Fish and an Elephant 03:33
3. Dern Kala 03:39
4. Little Joe & Mary 05:08
5. White Gloves 03:38
6. People Everywhere (Still Alive) 02:39
7. The Man Who Took My Sunglasses 02:13
8. August Twelve 06:13
9. Balls and Pins 03:28
10. Zionsville 04:11