Artist Spotlight by: Madeleine Choné
New music floods my streaming services every day, all promising to disrupt some musical standard, invent the “new sound” of our generation, or really anything just to prove that they are different. Regardless of whether they deliver or not, the relentless push to be “avant-garde” is exhausting. With only two songs populating his soundcloud, it’s a little tough to believe that Leon Bridges would be the sonic angel sent to alleviate my musical frustrations.
A couple weeks ago, we published a piece on finding the cure for sonic restlessness, suggesting that our fatigued ears can generally find some comfort in the arms of songs that have “transcended decades of musical evolution and pop culture changes.” Although Leon arrived to the public music sphere just a month ago, he exudes all the reassuring confidence of Otis Redding on a rainy Sunday. The online reception–”I immediately stopped everything I was doing to focus on what was pouring through my headphones”–is pretty indicative of how much listeners and the music sphere needed him.
I would wrap this up naming him Sam Cooke reincarnate and call it a day, but there are subtleties in the production courtesy of Austin Jenkins and Josh Block of White Denim that clearly date the piece alongside fellow “post-soul” stars like Sam Smith and Mayer Hawthorne. The Fort Worth, Texas native is unintentionally reshaping what a “timeless” piece can be. As Pigeons and Planes put it, he’s “proof that there’s a difference between sounding old and sounding timeless.”
Check out the two offerings he’s made on soundcloud below and join me in praying for more: