Soul singer Leon Bridges hits us with an early stream of his debut album, “Coming Home”. The album will be available in stores June 23rd.
When Leon Bridges sings, he often raises his arms in a chest-opening gesture that might resolve in a benediction or a finger snap. Like the music the 25-year-old Fort Worth soul sensation has carefully crafted for his debut, his signature move seems simple, but hold many meanings. It recalls the stance Bridges’ stated role model Sam Cooke frequently took, including his pose on the cover of the 1963 album the younger singer admits is his template for live performance. But the uplifting gesture predates Cooke, being central to the gospel testifying he translated into pop. It’s goes beyond him, also belonging to Elvis Presley, Whitney Houston and Justin Timberlake, to name just a few. It’s a central signifier containing multiple meanings: It’s welcoming but also a form of guarding; a way of opening the chest to gather breath and contain the body to focus on each note; a choreographed moment that seems to spring from pure feeling. It’s imagination in careful motion, a sign of freedom in mastery.