Since the release of their first record, “The Universe Smiles Upon You,” Texas indie rock trio Khruangbin has been playing shows around the world. Their new album, “Con Todo El Mundo,” is essentially a sonic passport, throughout which one can hear the influence of traditional Persian music, Thai funk, and Brazilian choro all wrapped in a funky blanket.
Lyrically this album is pretty sparse, but super entertaining. On a couple of tracks the three members drone falsetto “ooh’s” on top of lead guitar lines, and on others they chant segments of dialogue to a strong backbeat. The rap-talking on “Lady and Man” and “Evan Finds the Third Room” sounds slightly sarcastic, but there’s something satisfying about its silliness. Like snippets of a past conversation, the lyrics are ambiguously interesting, serving as an added layer of curiosity to the meandering grooves underneath.
The production of this record is one of the things that impressed me the most upon a first listen. Khruangbin’s snare sound is distinctly tight and paired with the reverb-heavy surf guitar tone, they have solidified a unique sound as a band. It’s their exotic sense of groove as well as the mix of the guitar, bass, and drums that captures a strange feeling. It’s not really happy or sad. It’s dreamy but not quite psychedelic. This record feels like people-watching from a bus stop— calm yet intriguing, and hypnotic in its easygoing foreign sound.