ALBUM REVIEW: Khruangbin – Mordechai
BEST TRACKS: Time (You and I), Pelota, Dearest Alfred, So We Won’t Forget
I’ve been following Khruangbin since the release of their jaw-dropping first album in 2015, ‘The Universe Smiles Upon You’. Following this release, Khruangbin has been releasing rippers one after the other, from the ever-ambient, Latin-American-influenced album Con Todo El Mundo to the religious experience that is the Texas Sun EP, to their latest release, Mordechai. The thing that separates Mordechai from Khruangbin’s previous albums is that most songs on this album surprisingly feature vocals, which is out of character for this customarily instrumental band. Adding vocals was a risk that paid off, in my opinion, especially on the 6th track, ‘Pelota’, where beautifully sung Spanish lyrics are delivered in a most surreal and completely nonchalant way.
Khruangbin is a multilingual band taking influences from many different cultural music styles such as Brazillian Bossa nova and Congolese Soukous. Vocals on this album never overstep their place in this predominantly instrumental band, always sharing the spotlight with the guitar and percussion, melding pleasantly to create an ample, well rounded sound. Underlying the seemingly brand new approach to music on Mordechai, the signature Khruangbin psychedelic influence still remains, but you won’t catch in unless you look for it. It comes out most prominently in the subtle ringing and eerie, choir-like vocals of the 10th track ‘Shida’ and in the fuzzy, low-key electric guitar of the 1st track ‘First Class’.
When I listen to this album I feel like just drifting. I feel so completely relaxed, without a care in the world, like I’m lying in a hammock on the beach under palm trees, sipping a raspberry margarita. Inexplicable, there is also a prominent aura of mystery that I get from listening to this album, and I somehow feel as if this album signifies the end of something.