In fall 2014 the popular Texas-based blog Gorilla vs Bear posted a track from an artists named Leon Bridges. The writer admitted he didn't know much about Bridges, but had been blown away by his "brilliant throwback soul jams" and wanted to give a kid from Fort Worth some shine. The post set off quickly went viral, with people calling him the next great soul revivalist and comparing him to the King of Soul himself Sam Cooke. Almost overnight, Leon Bridges went from a local talent to one of the biggest acts in the world, largely because of the nostalgia factor he brought to the table.
As he told Billboard though, "Nostalgia for me isn't Sam Cooke," he says, "as much as it's listening to a Ginuwine song or hearing Dallas hip-hop and remembering dancing to it in my garage." He hadn't even heard of the legendary Cooke when he began playing music. "A friend asked if Sam Cooke was an inspiration. I'd never listened, but I wanted to know my roots, so I looked him up on YouTube and Pandora. Once I heard it, I saw it — that was the music that I wanted to write."
Our track this week comes from Bridges' second album, Good Things, released just a few weeks ago. The album keeps a traditional soul foundation, but adds a neo-soul feel of the 1970s. It's still perfect for a school dance, but you won't be holding your date close for each song, some will make you move your feet, ever so slightly. Our track is the silky smooth "Forgive You", written from the perspective of a former girlfriend who grew tired of Bridges' need to hide her from his religious parents. She's angry, embarrassed, and spurred on by a group of friends telling her she should have never agreed to the secret arrangement. But under the anger, is still a love for Bridges, and though she can't bring herself to be with him, she can offer some closure: "I forgive you though my friends tell me not to / I forgive you even when it's so hard to"
You can learn more about Leon Bridges here:
About the curator - Cormac McGee
Cormac McGee is a DJ, artist manager and concert promoter based in Toronto, Canada. He’s played in front of crowds from 10 – 1,000 people and has run concerts with some of today’s top hip hop artists, including Drake, Future, Mac Miller, 6lack, Ab-Soul and more. He also runs the Music Den at Ryerson University, a business incubator for entrepreneurs in the music industry.