Leon Bridges makes songs for people to fall in love to. His charming 2015 debut album Coming Home swept worldwide audiences, due to his enormous talent and because his music is so inked with nostalgia to the point that it transcends time altogether. Bridges seems well beyond his years, and it’s in part due to the inspiration he draws from classic R&B icons he reveres – Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Curtis Mayfield, to name a few. “It’s powerful that those artists around that time persevered through f-d up America,” Bridges said in this Honda Backstage video. “As a black man, I want to be able to carry on that legacy within my music.”
Bridges makes a bit of a sonic departure on his second record Good Thing, resulting in a work that is “unafraid to mine the same vintage inspirations — perhaps not reaching as far back — but it also has the confidence to blend it with newer influences.” In the clip, Bridges’ manager, Jonathan Eshak describes Bridges’ music as a “homage to the greats of yesterday.” And the musician himself fondly acknowledges his upbringing and family’s influence, one rooted in faith and gospel music.
When Bridges discusses the making of Good Thing, it’s apparent that each track and stylistic choice was made meticulously with the intent of challenging audiences while upholding his inimitable integrity. It’s energy and thought well spent, as Bridges’ voice has a life all on its own. Like producer Ricky Reed says, “Leon just has that voice — he makes every microphone sound fancy.”
Watch Bridges explain the process behind Good Thing in the video above, and listen to the album here.