13. MORDECHAI by Khruangbin
First things first - the band’s name is pronounced ‘krung-bin.’ With that out of the way, I also have to disclose that I may be a bit biased about choosing this record - Khruangbin hails from Houston, Texas, my hometown. However, putting all biases aside, Mordechai is worth a listen for multiple reasons. First, the fact that the band eschews the moniker of ‘world music’ as that implies that anything that is not English/western music should be called ‘world’ is something I had not really thought about, but makes a lot of sense to me. They prefer to call their style ‘Earth music’ encompassing West African, South Asian and Mexican melodies and rhythms (so far…who knows what is in store for the future). Next, this is the type of album you can put on and forget about - and I mean that in the best way possible. On my several listens so far, I found that, at least for me, the lyrics don’t matter that much. It’s the overall groove and thick, heavy bass lines that slowly suck you in without you ever realizing it - you know you’re listening to something, you know you like it, you feel the rhythms but it doesn’t interfere with what you’re doing. It’s background music for people who hate background music.