Khruangbin – A LA SALA review: a kaleidoscopic trip worth taking

Khruangbin on orange background

Review

Rating
8/10
Rating
8.0/10

Just in time for lighter evenings and warmer days, Khruangbin have returned with their latest, A LA SALA.

A trip back to quintessential Khruangbin, A LA SALA is a minimalist yet magical foray into dreamy, psychedelic guitars, feather-light vocals and subtly danceable funk.

After a period of collaboration and experimentation, Khruangbin have returned to the initial spark that made their music so potent. They are masterful when it comes to creating immersive worlds to sink into, and A LA SALA is no exception. Press play, and you’re immediately transported to summer nights, pink-tinged skies, the first buzz of an evening you know will be memorable. It’s all balmy air and sighs of relief that can only come from that freeing atmosphere of mid-July.

‘A La Sala’ translates to ‘To The Room’ in English, and it feels fitting. It’s the soundtrack of a gathering of those you love most, all relaxed with the ease of the summer months, the album easily envisioned amidst a layer of chatter and reinvigoration.

It’s a relatively refrained affair; ‘Todavía Viva’ is breezy, the bass line a particularly lowkey kind of groove, the vocals breathily delivered. ‘Juegos y Nubes’ feels slightly more dramatic, it’s drum beat more pervasive. The tracks seamlessly fold into one another, making the immersion all the more intense.

Khruangbin have an unparalleled ability to weave stories and emotions into their instrumentals, and they’re at their strongest when they do exactly that – ‘Hold Me Up (Thank You)’ is a joyous, colourful moment of love and appreciation. Elsewhere, ‘Caja de la Sala’ may come in short of 2 minutes, but it’s brimming with calm and tranquillity even still, a wordless opportunity to take stock and breathe.

Above all else, A LA SALA feels like an invitation to slow down and melt into the poetic guitar lines Khruangbin so effortlessly craft. It provides space to pause and just enjoy the raw magic that they create. Amidst the stresses of the everyday, Khruangbin’s kaleidoscopic, ethereal sound is a welcome break. By A LA SALA‘s final track, ‘Les Petits Gris’, a new level of serenity has been found – each listen allows you the chance to revel in it.

featured image: David Black

Review

Rating
8/10
Rating
8.0/10
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