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There was a lovely hour of serenity at this year’s Simple Things Festival that came courtesy of a Texan band whose languid, ambient guitar groove and slow-paced psychedelic wanderings attracted a surprisingly large crowd.

Khruangbin’s music is not wholly defined by place, but it’s certainly played a huge part in their existence as a band. Currently operating with the rather tricky water formation that is the Atlantic Ocean between Laura Lee, who plays bass and lives in London, and other members Mark Speer (guitar) and DJ, (drums) who are in Texas, Khruangbin’s success has arrived at a time where logistics might be somewhat of a headache. Their debut album The Universe Smiles Upon You has been gratefully received in a number of quarters for its surfer rock leanings without sounding too much like a pastiche and its ambience manages to fill a space without feeling like background music.

In the live arena, bookings for events in the sun continue the theme of space and setting that mirror these lush grooves. Much anticipated summer dates at Love International and Gottwood will no doubt cement them an even firmer favourite among those who are looking for something more spacious and mood enhancing from their summer’s musical palette.

Despite the fact the Atlantic separates you now, how did Khurangbin get together in the first instance?

Mark our guitar player and DJ our drummer have been playing gospel music in a church in Houston since they were 15. They’d been doing a lot of different session work on different gospel and R’n’B projects. I met Mark in 2007 and a few years later started playing bass and in 2010 Mark and I were invited to go on tour with YYPAH supporting Bonobo. It was after that tour I decided I wanted to start my own project. Mark has a bar right out in the middle of hill country in Texas and we went and played out there. When we felt like we were getting somewhere it was time to find a drummer. Mark and DJ had been playing for years, but after rehearsals every week we’d meet up and have and burger. So the three of us had dinner on Tuesday for three years before we even ended up joining a band. We have a really nice bond and friendship and we always talked about music so when the time came to play together there was already a really natural feeling there. We started the band before I moved to London and before I moved we decided to record everything we had. Then I met up with Simon Green from Bonobo when I moved to London and gave him a couple of the tracks and he ended up putting our track A Calf Born In Winter on his Late Night Tales compilation. That kind of started our actual career. By the time we were known as a band we were already living in separate places. Now we have to figure out to make it work, but so far it’s been going well.

Has the separation between countries been difficult at all? Is it an issue?

Not really in the sense we talk every day and we send each other ideas of songs and playlists. The hardest thing is working out how to play live and how budget wise to make it work, because no matter where we play someone has to travel. That’s the hardest part – but everything else works fine. We don’t see each other all the time, so when we do see each other again there’s excitement.

You played Crack’s festival Simple Things as a first UK show. There seems to have been quite a lot of hype around it.

It was a brilliant show and we loved it. The Foyer of The Colston Hal is such a cool space to be play. Our music tends to lend itself to spacious places rather than playing a bar or a nightclub. That gig meant we could just be us. The response has just been amazing. It’s really special for the guys as they are in Houston and kind of disconnected. I feel that buzz cause I’m here, but for them they had no idea that when they came over to play shows there would be all these people there to see us. That’s not to say we didn’t have people who liked us in Houston, but I think over here people really appreciate the subtleties in our music. They were so overwhelmed and as far as that particular show is concerned – they got quite emotional about it.

Due to the nature of the music, do you guys find you end up playing certain time slots?

I think sunrise or sunset is our ultimate set time as this is what we play to. Luckily the two guys have been playing music all their lives, so when we played in Camden [the night before Simple Things] we funked up or set a bit. It’s definitely not ideal considering what our body of work is, but if it’s a night-time gig we can make it work for that. We had our official release at the Ace Hotel here which is dark space and we filmed what it looks like from our barn, so we could bring people to us.

What are the influences behind the ambience and the mood in the music come from? Where does that languid style originate from?

Putting it simply we’ve made and recorded everything in a barn. You can’t see any other life other than cows for a long way. When you play in that kind of environment that’s what comes through. Most of our stuff is relatively improvised and we definitely have parts we’ve written going into this, but a lot of it is done together while we’re there. I think the spaciousness of the area has a huge affect on this.

So as far as getting together, with the space between you, do you aim for the summer to try and put together tours or new music?

We’ve got a show in Rio in January and hopefully a little run of shows in February, but from May and through the summer it looks like we’ll be together quite a bit – mainly in Europe, but I’m hoping we’ll be able to get back to the States for some shows at some point. It’ll be our first time ever being on tour, so I’m pretty excited.

When will you be able to get back together to make new music?

I think the plan is to put out another record in 2017 as our prime focus is definitely touring and getting out there to meet people and see places next year. I’m a believer that you need to keep writing and never stop making music. In an ideal world I‘d like to get back to Texas in October/early November before it gets too cold.

Khruangbin play Love International Festival in Croatia and Gottwood Festival in Wales next year