Leon Bridges‘ first strides as a retro-soul artist prompted comparisons to R&B legends like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. A singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Bridges performed in and around Fort Worth, TX and stirred up music industry interest with analog recordings, produced by Justin Block and Austin Jenkins of White Denim, which were uploaded to his SoundCloud page. Signed to major-label Columbia, his first singles–including a rich ballad written about his mother–appeared in February 2015 with a sound that evoked mid- to late-’60s soul. The following month, Bridges caught more attention with a performance at the South by Southwest Festival, roughly 200 miles south of his home base. His debut album, Coming Home was released in June 2015.
Lianne La Havas
Lianne La Havas arrived in the early 2010s with a mostly acoustic and hushed hybrid of alternative folk and soul. The singer, songwriter, and guitarist was born and raised in London, England, the daughter of a Jamaican mother and Greek father. She was a member of the Paris Parade with Christian Pinchbeck (a future member of Elephant), but the act proved to be short-lived. La Havas eventually shifted to solo work and released Lost & Found, a four-track EP featuring a duet with Willy Mason, in…[read more…]