Khruangbin/Leon Bridges

Texas Moon
(Dead Oceans)

Texas Moon is the spiritual flipside to Khruangbin and Leon Bridges’ 2020 release Texas Sun, and like that other brief yet adventurous romp, Texas Moon weaves together seemingly disparate musical traditions into one well-wrought psychedelic tapestry.

This collection opens with “Doris,” a track meant to give a salt-of-the-earth woman her roses at the twilight of her life. Doused in liberal reverb and wah-wah guitar the way a New Orleans debutante of yesterday might have doused Evening In Paris on her collarbone, the sound captured here, replete with a waterlogged chorus repeating the subject’s name like a chant, sticks with you long after the track is over.

The same could be said for all of the tracks: From the groovy, Afrobeat-flavored dancer “B-Side” to the Prince-inspired slow jam “Chocolate Hills,” and the country-by-way-of-soul “Mariella,” each track furthers the overall sonic plot that the collective has explored since Texas Sun. Laura Lee’s luscious bass, Donald Johnson Jr.’s laid-back drums and Mark Speer’s hallucinogenic guitar, augmented to great effect by Will Van Horn’s windswept pedal steel, all perfectly support fellow Texan Leon Bridges, a vocalist who continues to delight with his intimate tone and phrasing.

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