Khruangbin are the perfect band to play on a sweltering summer’s day… and Texas Sun is the perfect song.
I can remember when I first heard Khruangbin, stopping off on my way home from the cinema at a short-lived Hackney pizza joint called Lardo Bebe.
It was late, we were the only customers, and I was halfway through a Roman-style pizza when the mellow music caught my ear.
The manager, a large bearded Irishman, told me the name of the band but; like so many others, I couldn’t catch it until it was spelt out for me.
I seem to remember he thought they were from Thailand. Their name is but they’re not – which, to be fair, could be what he said.
The name itself is Thai for ‘aeroplane’ and they’re a trio (Laura Lee Ochoa on bass, Mark Speer on guitar and drummer Donald “DJ” Johnson Jr) from Houston, Texas.
So they know what they’re on about when it comes to Texas Sun.
Speer and Lee first met in Houston over a shared interest in Afghan music and Middle Eastern architecture, and played together with Yppah prior to forming Khruangbin.
They cite their prime musical influences as Thai rock, funk and country from the 1960s and ’70s – genres with which I’m unfamiliar – mixed with elements of surf rock, dub, Iranian pop and a hefty dose of psychedelia.
Khruangbin started off as a mostly instrumental band but this is a collaboration with another Texan, old-skool soul singer Leon Bridges.
His smooth voice, with just a hint of desert dust at the back of it, perfectly suits the languid pace of the song and the country twang of that infectious guitar riff.
I could listen to it all day (and probably will).