‘A baptism, a rebirth, a new beginning’
Meg Berridge
13:40 25th June 2020

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Finally, the candle burnt out. After a relentless three-year slog of touring, pumping out albums and touring again, Khruangbin said enough is enough. Taking some time out, the group returned to their native Texan soil for a spot of reflection and soul searching. 

Soon enough, they birthed their third album. They called it Mordechai. 

Now, anyone who’s listened to Khruangbin before knows that they are masters in their field. Through Mordechai, the psych-rock outfit has honed in on their craftsmanship, creating a dreamboat of unparalleled excellence.

Despite being album number three, Mordechai has been stamped as one of firsts. As a band primarily focused on their instrumental brilliance, this is their most vocal album yet. The transcendence of bassist Laura Lee was the inspiration of the album; becoming Mordechai and expressing herself through the lexical form — their lyrical fountain. 

Opener, ‘First Class’ provides a feast for bass-hungry ears. Where discordant guitar scratches and bass rumbles, a chorus of angels rises from the dirty chasm of funk. Similarly, ‘Time (You And I)’ exudes radiance with its sun-dappled riffs that even Nile Rodgers would be impressed by. If it was released some 40 years ago, the world as we know it wouldn’t be the same. 

Classically, it wouldn’t be a Khruangbin album if they didn’t flaunt their multilingual abilities. Third track, ‘Connaissais De Face’ could definitely be used as the backing track to a Häagen-Dasz advert. Sumptuous falsetto is the forerunner to the low hum of a spoken tête-à-tête. Following is the song’s heartbroken counterpart, ‘Father Bird, Mother Bird’. 

After this somewhat solemn diversion, the album plunges into a dazzling pool of Spanish waters with ‘Pelota’. This is heat waves dancing above the tarmac, the juice from an orange dripping down your chin, the cool touch of a zephyr by the sea. It is not anthemic, it’s not a summer banger. ‘Pelota’ strikes the perfect balance between excitement and nonchalance. 

Zip lining across the equator, the succeeding track ‘One To Remember’ is the unfurling revelation that shall be named lo-fi dub. Here onwards, Mordechai sinks into mellow territory. Closing track ‘Shida’ is adorned with fanciful song from a guitar drenched in reverb, back to their roots; a land where the intricate twists and twirls of a finger plucking a string say more than any words could. 

Mordechai is a baptism, a rebirth, a new beginning. 

Mordechai is released on 26 June 2020 via Dead Oceans. 

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