June's Jazz, Soul, & Blues Record of the Month - Leon Bridges - Good Thing (180g)
Fort Worth, Texas native Leon Bridges has been making a name for himself since early 2015, when he burst onto the scene with his retro soul sound. After a chance encounter with psych-rockers Austin Jenkins and Joshua Block of the band White Denim, Bridges began tracking with the two on what would become his first demos. Recorded on vintage equipment, the songs even had the feel of classic r&b and soul. They uploaded the songs onto Soundcloud, and within the year Columbia Records signed the up-and-coming Bridges.
His debut album, Coming Home, sold 42,000 units its first week, appearing at #6 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Not a bad way to start your career, folks. Released on Columbia Records in June of 2015, Coming Home was nominated for a Grammy in the Best R&B Album category and has since been RIAA-certified Gold.
Good Thing updates Leon Bridges' 60's throwback sound by a decade, venturing into 70's soul territory and beyond with highlight tracks like opener "Bet Ain't Worth the Hand" and sleeper jam "Forgive You". The LP's second half songs "Lions" and "Georgia to Texas" feature tasteful drum grooves while the ridiculously funky "You Don't Know" serves as a fine example of Bridges' songwriting growth.
Good Thing is our Jazz, Soul, & Blues Record of the Month for June. The album was released on May 4th, and is pressed on 180g vinyl. The retro vibes will have you comparing Bridges to the heavy-hitters of the past, but Good Thing lives in a space all by itself, unable to be perfectly-labeled.