Khruangbin’s global aesthetic bleeds real emotion

Khruangbin plays Vinyl on November 7.
Photo: Mary Kang / Courtesy

The name of their 2018 album is Con Todo el Mundo. It means “with all the world,” which was how Khruangbin bassist Laura Lee would respond to her grandfather when he would ask “¿Cómo me quieres?” which means “How much do you love me?” But the title might also represent the global aesthetic of the album itself.

The musicians comprising the Texas-based trio have long absorbed the music of international artists. Separately and collectively, their aural travels have taken them to southern Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Latin America. One of Khruangbin’s masterstrokes has been incorporating those influences into its foundation of (largely) instrumental funk and psychedelic soul, and honing it into a distinctive, unified sound.

Another: writing songs that sound like they come from the heart rather than a particular country. Indeed, the reason Con Todo el Mundo has resonated with music fans and made the band a breakout in indie circles is the way its melancholic compositions seem to re-create moments in our lives—when we lay awake after a breakup or took a long walk after processing loss. Only after those familiar pangs and reflections fade might we try to mentally geotag the music.

But, as those lucky enough to catch the band at Fremont Country Club last November can attest, Khruangbin’s November 7 Vinyl show won’t solely be a contemplative affair. Grounding the longing in guitarist Mark Speer’s wanderlust, atmospheric chords are Donald Johnson’s drum breaks and Lee’s thick, melodic basslines. While mellower tracks like “Rules” and “August 10” will prompt the most casual of swaying, upbeat funk numbers like “Maria También” and “Evan Finds the Third Room” ought to invite a more vigorous shuffle among those in the audience—one you should most definitely join.

Khruangbin with Will Van Horn. November 7, 9 p.m., $20. Vinyl, 702-693-5000.

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