Khruangbin / Leon Bridges

Texas Sun

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The formulation of this short romantic detour from Leon Bridges and Khruangbin began, appropriately enough, on the road. After the fellow native Texans toured together, Khruangbin -- a trio of instrumentalists who mix deep soul, funk, and rock with grainy, psychedelic finesse -- recorded a track they thought would suit Bridges, an old soul with a fresh and personal perspective on traditional R&B. They met up in Houston and knocked out four songs with Bridges always at the fore, a change for the band who have previously used vocals only for shading. They begin by unfurling a couple lazing grooves. The singer shifts from a getaway proposition on "Texas," twanged out more than anything on the two proper Khruangbin LPs, to an idyllic reminiscence on "Midnight," where the band enhance the mood with a sensitive touch. On "C-Side," Laura Lee switches it up with a bassline that bounces not unlike the one Nathan East played to propel Dennis Edwards' "Don't Look Any Further," with Bridges set aloft by his "melanin lady." "Conversion," a redemptive ballad, slows it down as Bridges sings of newfound clarity, but the effect of his well-matched partners' work is only a little less intoxicating than it is on the preceding numbers.

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