Khruangbin: Psychedelic Rock for the 2020’s

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With more than 5 million monthly listeners and an ongoing world tour, Khruangbin is one of the biggest psychedelic rock of the moment. But behind this simply given tag, there’s more.

A multiface band

Khruangbin
Picture taken from the band’s official instagram page. Ph: Jackie Lee Young

Formed in 2009, Khruangbin is an American trio from Burton, TX, where the band used to practice and record. With Laura Leem on bass, Mark Speer on guitar and Donald “DJ” Johnson on drums, the band represents the continuation of what the 60s flourishing genre of “psychedelic rock.” But this is nothing when Khruangbin is considered in their entirety. In fact, the band fuses multiple aspects of music coming from various time, places and genres. And due to their versatility and “multiethnic” formation, Khruangbin is one of the hardest band to describe.

Spain, the Middle East, specifically Iran and Afghanistan, Thailand, Pakistan and West Africa are only some of the band’s biggest geographical influences. And this is not just a case, especially considering that Speer met Lee due to their shared interest for Afghan and Middle Eastern music and culture. Before Khruangbin, the duo also played together in a band, Yppah, whose tour brought them to the creation of their own new project. Johnson joined soon after. As one can see in the band’s latest single, 2022 Savanne.

Also the band’s name was formed around the band’s interest in foreign cultures. In fact, it was Lee who  at the time was studying Thai and who proposed the name “khruangbin.” It came from her favorite word เครื่องบิน; RTGS: khrueang bin, which back then was her favorite Thai word. Khrueang bin’s translation is airplane.

As far as genres, Khruangbin includes aspects of funk, psychedelia surf rock and dub. However, they are not limited to this. An example is the single If There Is No Question, which embraces, among the others, disco influences.

But Savanne and If There Is No Question is just one example of the band’s many influences. In fact, each release of the band is imbued with melodic and rhythmic lines marked by strong Middle Eastern influences. The multiple geographical, musical and temporal influences are what makes the band one of the most various, interesting and characteristic of the moment.

Another important element for the band is Leon BridgesIn fact, the band collaborated multiple times with the singer, especially in their biggest EPs, 2020 Texas Sun and 2022 Texas Moon.

Space Walk Tour 2022

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At the moment the band is touring with their Space Walk Tour. The band will perform in four continents. Starting from North America at the end of August, the band will cross the United States until the beginning of October. Soon after, they will also have two dates in Mexico, in Mexico City and San Josè Del Cabo. An additional date in Hawaii on November 9th will conclude the American side of the tour.

The band will also headline The Big Climate Thing Festival in NYC.

If you are from Europe, the situation is not as as good as it is for the 10+ dates the band offers in North America. In fact, after concluding multiple nights in the Old Continent during summer, Khruangbin will reach England for only two nights and Ireland for one.

Oceania and Asia will welcome Khruangbin respectively nine and four times. Japan and South Korea are the only Asian countries to host the band.

Don’t lose your chance to see your favorite band live! Find more information and get your tickets here.

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