Leon Bridges and Khruangbin both hail from Texas, a state of wide-open skies and long, hot drives. On collaborative EP Texas Sun the acts unite to create heady psychedelic contemporary soul that manages to capture those images in song.
This is an inspired pairing, one that manages to bring out new elements of both Bridges’ and Khruangbin’s sounds while also coming off as completely natural. Whereas his solo records often have a retro feel about them, Bridges sounds modern, suave and heartfelt throughout Texas Sun in a manner that recalls Frank Ocean’s early albums. Khruangbin, on the other hand, clearly relish the chance to play with a singer, their grooves moving from muscular R ‘n’ B to wistful neo-soul with understated panache.
The songs themselves are all superbly realised. Texas Sun’s title-track introduces the record, a widescreen number that has a little country music in its DNA. ‘Midnight’ and ‘C-Side’ follow, arguably the EP’s lushest entries - the latter’s Latin-influenced shuffle is charmingly offset by some library-soul flourishes. Texas Sun closes out with the near-seven-minute ‘Conversion’, a slow-burning track that builds from soulful koan to a graceful, murmuring climax.
On Texas Sun, Khruangbin and Leon Bridges unite for some of the most evocative and soulful pop music to emerge from The Lone Star State - or any other, for that matter - in some time.