Artist of the week: Leon Bridges
One immediately feels like having entered a time-machine when you listen to a Leon Bridges‘ song: the voice (which often recalls Sam Cooke or Otis Redding), production, arrangements and themes of travel, love and salvation all seem to echo the golden age of R&B and Soul of the late 50s and early 60s.
Born in Atlanta Georgia in 1989, Leon Bridges began his career in his early twenties, playing in bars of the Texas area the songs and lyrics he had been incessantly writing since his adolescence. His big break in the recording industry happened when he bumped into Justin Block and Austin Jenkins of White Denim, who were immediately drawn by his heartfelt and delicate delivery. His first two songs were demo-recorded by the duo and uploaded to his Soundcloud account: both tracks gained immediate traction and before you knew it he had signed a major playing, played support for Sharon Van Etten in New York and his first official single had become a Top 10 Most Viral Track on Spotify on February 2015. This kid was on fire.
His recently released debut album, Coming Home, maybe a throwback album, but one that has been blessed with modesty, talent and focus. Leon‘s smooth vocals and inventive phrasing are preserved intact thanks to low-key arrangements and a pristine production that might have been, nevertheless, perhaps a little bit less heavy-handed on the reverb. It’s more than probable that the majority of its ten songs will find their way up into your heart.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.