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Khruangbin
Khruangbin
Background information
Origin Houston, Texas, USA
Genres Psychedelic, Funk, Soul
Years active 2010 - Present
Labels Dead Oceans, Night Time Stories
Website Aur Khruang
Current members Laura Lee
Mark Speer
Donald Johnson
Khruangbin are a psychedelic trio originating from Houston, Texas. Forming initially in 2010 by the trio of Laura Lee, Mark Speer and Donald Johnson, Khruangbin would become a full touring act by 2015 with their debut album The Universe Smiles Upon You and attain further critical acclaim with their 2018 follow-up Con Todo El Mundo. Khruangbin's nucleus is in genre-bending psychedelic rock with break-beats and sparse vocals, though pinpointing an exact sound is impossible as the band draws from a wide arrange of influences, ranging from Thai funk, Afghan music and Spanish folk just to scratch the surface.[1][2]

Since forming Khruangbin has released two albums along with a host of EPs and has managed to tour all over the world. Notably the trio also host a radio program known as "Air Khruang" which composes of curated playlists of music the band is inspired by.[3] The band's name itself is derived from the Thai word for "aeroplane". When asked to play their first gig, Laura Lee, who was learning to speak Thai at the time, decided they should use her favorite Thai word "khruangbin", (เครื่องบิน) which means "flying engine" or "aeroplane", as their name. In an interview with Premier Guitar, Speer would admit that, had they had the foresight to predict the band's success, they may not have chosen a name that was so difficult to pronounce. Though the band's name is notoriously challenging to say, it symbolizes the international set of influences that shaped the band's formation.[4][5]

HistoryEdit

Formation (2010 - 2013)Edit

Khruangbin's beginnings date back to 2004 when Speer and Johnson had met while playing in Rudy Rasmus's St. John's Methodist Church gospel band in Houston, Texas. The church employed Speer as the guitarist and Johnson as the organist.[6] Three years later Speer would meet Laura Lee through mutual friends where they initially connected over a shared love of Afghan music and Middle Eastern architecture. Two years later Speer would teach Lee to play the bass. In 2010, both she and Speer went on tour with Yppah while supporting Bonobo, Laura Lee on bass, Speer on guitar.[7] This would essentially sow the seeds for Khruangbin's formation once Johnson would join up. Speer, Lee and Johnson would find a barn in Burton, Texas (A town with a population of 300) to record their studio works. The band would record in November and self-release en EP on cassette and 7" vinyl the next year, with the band's earliest known live performances happening in the Texas area.[8]

The Universe Smiles Upon You (2014 - 2017)Edit

Sometime after the tour with Bonobo the artist featured Khruangbin's song, "Calf Born in Winter," on his 2014 Late Night Tales compilation. The song became one of the most popular tracks on the record, helping create an initial audience for the band's EPs at the time in A Calf Born In Winter and The Infamous Bill. Shortly thereafter, Khruangbin were named The Guardian's "New Band of the Week", At the time of the EP releases the band had worked up enough material for their debut album. Another EP would follow on 18 April 2015 in History of Flight. Eventually Khruangbin's debut album The Universe Smiles Upon You would be released on 5 December 2015, garnering praise from the likes of Paste Magazine (8.4),[9] Noisey/Vice,[10] and The Vinyl District (A-)[11] among others. What would follow would be two short tours, one in the UK and one leading up to SXSW in 2016. The band's touring would increase, supporting Father John Misty along with their first full North American tour that summer. Another EP in People Everywhere (Still Alive) saw release in 2016 and mainly sold on tour. In 2017 The band largely hit the festival circuit between a winter tour and a fall tour with Chicano Batman. Festival appearances included Bonnaroo, Electric Forest and Dimensions among other festivals.

Con Todo El Mundo (2018 - Present)Edit

Khruangbin would begin work on a follow-up record in 2017, drawing from Middle Eastern and Spanish sounds in contrast to the Thai influences of the first album. Con Todo El Mundo would be released on 26 January 2018, with the name of the album coming from Laura Lee's Mexican-American grandfather, who would often ask, "How do you love me?" ("¿cómo me quieres?") and would only accept one response, "Con todo el mundo," or in Spanish, "with all the world." The band has been quoted as saying the title of the record is also a reference to the diverse range of musical influences that inspired it, primarily from the Middle East. Con Todo El Mundo would attain critical praise from the likes of The Line of Best Fit (8.5),[12] Clash Music (9/10),[13] NME (4/5 Stars)[14] and Pitchfork (7.6)[15] among others. NPR would host a track-by-track observation on the album on the same day of the album's release.[16]

The band would follow with the most extensive touring cycle of their career, hitting Europe and the US in direct support of the album in the Spring. Notably, Pitchfork would record a live performance on 11 April and release it on 25 April on their YouTube page, garnering over three million views. Preceding the album the band released a video for "Friday Morning" which attained nearly 5.5 million views by November 2018. A music video for "Evan Finds The Third Room" was released in late March while Khruangbin would tour the world including an Asia tour with dates in Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and India. The band also performed at festivals such as Bad Bonn, Best Kept Secret, Forecastle, Newport Folk, Øyafestivalen and Austin City Limits.[17]

Khruangbin would further tour the world in 2019 and 2020 supporting Con Todo El Mundo, while releasing a remix album entitled Hasta el Cielo in 2019 and a collaborative EP with Leon Bridges entitled Texas Sun in 2020.

Khruangbin @ Villain Pitchfork Live

Khruangbin @ Villain Pitchfork Live

Khruangbin - Evan Finds The Third Room (Official Video)

Khruangbin - Evan Finds The Third Room (Official Video)

DiscographyEdit

Studio ReleasesEdit

  • The Universe Smiles Upon You (2015, Night Time Stories Ltd.)
  • Con Todo El Mundo (2018, Night Time Stories Ltd.)

Other ReleasesEdit

  • Khruangbin (EP) (2010, Self-Released)
  • เครื่องบิน aka Khruangbin EP (EP) (2011, Self-Released)
  • Live @ Helios (Live Album) (2012, Self-Released)
  • A Calf Born In Winter (EP) (2014, Late Night Tales)
  • The Infamous Bill (EP) (2014, Night Time Stories Ltd.)
  • History of Flight (EP) (2015, Night Time Stories Ltd.)
  • Remixes (Remix EP) (2016, Boogiefuturo)
  • People Everywhere (Still Alive) (Single) (2016, Night Time Stories Ltd.)
  • Fall Tour EP (Split EP with Chicano Batman) (2017, Noise Trade)
  • Christmas Time Is Here (Single) (2018, Night Time Stories Ltd.)
  • Live At Lincoln Hall (Live Album) (2018, Night Time Stories)
  • 全てが君に微笑む (Japan-Exclusive Compilation) (2019, Night Time Stories)
  • Hasta el Cielo (Remix Album) (2019, Night Time Stories)
  • Texas Sun (Collaborative EP with Leon Bridges) (2020, Dead Oceans; Night Time Stories; Columbia)

MembersEdit

  • Mark Speer - Guitar, Vocals (2010 - Present)
  • Laura Lee - Bass, Vocals (2010 - Present)
  • Donald "DJ" Johnson - Drums, Vocals (2010 - Present)

ToursEdit

  • February 2016 UK Tour (2016)
  • March 2016 Mini-Tour (2016)[18]
  • May 2016 European Tour (With Father John Misty) (2016)[19]
  • The Universe Smiles Upon You North American Tour (2016)[20]
  • The Universe Smiles Upon You Europe/UK Tour (2016)[21]
  • 2017 Winter Tour (With The Shacks) (2017)[22]
  • 2017 North American Tour (With Chicano Batman) (2017)[23]
  • Con Todo El Mundo European Tour (2018)[24]
  • Con Todo El Mundo North American Tour (With The Mattson 2) (2018)[25]
  • Asia Tour 2018 (2018)[26]
  • Summer 2018 Europe/UK Tour (2018)[27]
  • Good Thing Tour (With Leon Bridges) (2018)[28]
  • October 2018 European Tour (2018)[29]
  • Fall 2018 North American Tour (2018)[30]
  • Winter 2019 European Tour (2019)
  • 2019 Australasia Tour (2019)[31][32]
  • 2019 Mexico / Coachella Shows (2019)
  • Summer 2019 European Tour (2019)
  • 2019 South American Tour (2019)[33]
  • The "Hello Hello" Tour (2019)[34]
  • 2020 Australia Tour (With Tame Impala) (2020)[35]

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. World Wide FM
  2. Washington Post
  3. Billboard
  4. Premier Guitar
  5. The Guardian
  6. Bandcamp Daily
  7. Vulture
  8. Khruangbin Facebook
  9. Paste Magazine
  10. Noisey.Vice
  11. The Vinyl District
  12. The Line of Best Fit
  13. Clash Music
  14. NME
  15. Pitchfork
  16. NPR
  17. Last.fm
  18. Khruangbin Facebook
  19. Khruangbin Facebook
  20. Khruangbin Facebook
  21. Khruangbin Facebook
  22. Khruangbin Facebook
  23. Khruangbin Facebook
  24. Khruangbin Facebook
  25. Khruangbin Facebook
  26. Khruangbin Facebook
  27. Khruangbin Facebook
  28. Khruangbin Facebook
  29. Khruangbin Facebook
  30. Khruangbin Facebook
  31. Khruangbin Facebook
  32. Khruangbin Facebook
  33. Last.fm
  34. Khruangbin Facebook
  35. Khruangbin Facebook
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