Leon Bridges didn’t know what he had when he wrote “Coming Home.” There was an aching among swathes of America, nostalgic for the good tunes of yesteryear. And although Leon found belonging and protection in the sound he loved, his music would play a prominent role in soul’s revival in pop music among acts like Alabama Shakes and the late Amy Whinehouse. The release would receive generally positive reviews, chart at number six on the Billboard 200 and receive a Grammy in 2016 for best R&B album.
Among the artists responsible for the soul revival of the 2010s, Leon Bridges captured the nostalgia of greats like Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding better than anyone else. Seeking refuge in the likeness of Sam Cooke, Leon was able to find self-expression in vintage clothes and ‘60s R&B. He got his start playing dives and other small venues in Texas’s robust local circuit before being discovered by local garage band White Denim. Through the band’s hook-up, Leon recorded in professional studios and landed a spot on local radio, which caught the attention of labels across the country. Eventually sticking with Colombia, Leon’s rocket launch of a debut, “Coming Home” made him an industry darling overnight. He’d earn coveted touring spots with Pharrell Williams and Sharon Van Etten, as well as several blockbuster TV and movie appearances.