Khruangbin's video for 'Pelota' holds the alchemy of world music in its hands
“Music is the universal language of the world”—a common, albeit undeniable, truth.
Through melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre, cadence, and so many more approaches music can communicate in wondrous ways. Khruangbin has proven to be a master in this alchemy and through the new video for their latest song, “Pelota” they’ve captured its magic visually as well.
The animated video was directed by Hugo Rodrigues, written by Alvaro Sotomayor, and produced by Glassworks Creative Studio. The video follows a human figure flying through geometric shapes, exploring landscapes, and experiencing a house that seems alive. The band members of Khruangbin, Mark Speer, Laura Lee Ochoa, and Donald “DJ’ Johnson said the song is “loosely based on a Japanese movie” in a statement, and from the imagery, one could infer influence from Studio Ghibli’s Howel’s Moving Castle, though Glass Works made the video their own with a more surrealist, fluid style and color pallet.
“Pelota” is sung entirely in Spanish which translates to “ball” in English. Unlike the rest of the video which is smooth and geometric, the band members appear as themselves floating on spheres, observing the world below, as a serpent-like dragon flies around them perhaps providing a physical symbolism to their musical connection.
“Pelota” is not the first Spanish expression for the band—their album Con Tolo El Mundo is a reference to bass player Laura Lee Ochoa’s grandfather asking her, “How do you love me?” (“¿Cómo me quieres?”) and would only accept one answer, “Con todo el mundo,” or in English, “with all the world.” Two previous singles “Time (You and I) and “So We Won’t Forget” will appear alongside “Pelota” on the Texas trio’s upcoming album, Mordechai which is set to release June 26 from Dead Oceans in association with Night Time Stories.