Thalia Hall and Silver Wrapper are thrilled to present a very special evening of funky vintage grooves and tropical psychedelia featuring Chicano Batman with Khruangbin!
They came out of L.A., four young men in vintage formalwear, playing songs that blended Brazilian Tropicalía with early ’70s psychedelic soul and the romantic pop of bands like Los Ángeles Negros. It was an immediately addictive sonic brew, and their reputation grew fast. Since forming in 2008, Chicano Batman have released two full-length albums—a self-titled 2009 debut, and 2014’s Cycles Of Existential Rhyme—and two EPs. The band has played Coachella, and toured with Alabama Shakes and Jack White, among others. Now, they’re making their boldest statement yet with Freedom Is Free, their third album and ATO Records debut.
Frontman Bardo Martinez met bassist Eduardo Arenas in 2008, and they quickly found common ground in the work of Caetano Veloso and other Tropicalía performers, as well as the kind of vintage soul and pop heard on “the albums our parents have in their closets.” They recruited drummer Gabriel Villa and made their first album as a trio; guitarist Carlos Arévalo joined the band in 2011 and they released The Joven Navegante EP the following year.
Chicano Batman’s look has done as much to set them apart as their sound or their name. Since the beginning, they’ve performed in matching suits and ruffled shirts; Bardo explains, “We’re making a particular reference that some people understand—Los Ángeles Negros, Los Pasteles Verdes. In the ’70s, it was a big thing where all these cats were playing romantic ballads, but they were funky as hell.”
Freedom Is Free reflects Chicano Batman's decision to foreground the soul and R&B elements of their sound. To achieve their ambitious sonic goals, the quartet worked with proudcer Leon Michels (El Michels Affair, The Arcs) in his Diamond Mine Recording studio in Long Island City, NY. The partnership truly captures the band's live energy and brings their aesthetic goals to life.
If you ever find yourself in Burton, Texas -- population 359 -- you may hear some strange sounds coming from a particularly remote barn. The sounds are that of Khruangbin, a psychedelic trio who draw inspiration from the deepest depths of music history: mixing 1960's funk scene in Thailand, 1970's Persian rock music, and 1980's Algerian symphonia with a dash of disco, soul, and balearic music.
After developing a fan base of the barnyard variety, they decided to find out if humans would enjoy their music too. Since then, they've found their audiences just as diverser as the music itself -- selling out headline shows in the US, UK and Europe, supporting acts like Father John Misty and Massive Attack, and late last year, signing on to be Corona's official brand sound.