5 Essential Tracks : Leon Bridges

5 Essential Tracks : Leon Bridges

A breath of fresh, classic, air...
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Leon Bridges can only be described as a rarity. There is simply no one else like him on the music scene right now. His soulful, vintage, sound is reminiscent of some of the greats. Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, Bridges has a background not only in Soul, but in American Gospel. Bridges came from a broken home, his parents separated when he was 7 and he spent most of his early childhood with his father. In article for Billboard, Bridges describes his childhood as "isolated" and recalls studying dance, and eventually, singing and guitar. But it was after he took a job bussing tables that he met guitarist Austin Jenkins, who would not only inspire him to find his muse, but would go on to be a co-producer on Bridges' first album Coming Home. - which picked up a Grammy nomination. Leon Bridges' music manages to straddle the line between classic and fresh. While his style and sound are a throwback to the '50s and '60s his passion and lyrics are new and exciting. I was lucky enough to get to see Bridges at the Murat Theater in downtown Indianapolis this summer, and something that makes him so unique is that he's not just a singer, he's a performer. The sets are like something out of the past, the big band,... it was one of the best live shows I've ever seen. His sound, some would call dated, I prefer to call it classic, so I've narrowed this list down to what I feel are his strongest tracks.

Above : Leon Bridges playing the Murat Theater in Downtown Indianapolis this summer

1. RIVER

"Tip me in your smooth waters.
I go in as a man with many crimes.


Come up for air as my sins flow down the Jordan"

River is one of Bridges, slower, more melancholy songs. And the video captures exactly that. Released on his debut album Coming Home, Bridges sings of regret and sins, while holding out hope for atonement and a chance at redemption. The music video is as vivid, pure and powerful as the lyrics, feeling a bit like a short film. This is also one of Bridges' biggest songs, just recently having been featured on the soundtrack for HBO's hit Big Little Lies.

2. COMING HOME

"Baby, how I'd be grieving
If you wanted to leave me all alone now
By myself, I don't want nobody else"

The title track, from his debut album Coming Home, this song is basic Leon Bridges, as is the video, - featured above. Like so much of his music, this song flows perfectly and has such a timeless quality to it. The video is done in simple black and white, providing a classic look to a simple video.

3. PULL AWAY


My pillow bears a tear of a man in pain
Our love, I thought I could sustain
Don't worry about me anymore
Cause I'll be gone by the morning time


This romantic track is one of my personal favorites, Pull Away is a soulful, ballad. that you can't help but want to sway to. Bridge's steady croon is accentuated by talented backup vocalist Brittni Jesse, who's sultry sounding voice can be heard on some of Bridges' best tracks.

4. BROWN SKIN GIRL


Brown skin girl with the white pearls 'round her neck
Brown skin girl, let me hold you close under the white moon
'Cause baby, I'm ready and you know that I'm waiting on you


Brown Skin Girl is another favorite of mine. You can't help but smile when you hear it. The lyrics may be sweet, but Bridge's voice is seductive and always reminds me of the great Sam Cooke when I hear it. It's classic ballad with just the right amount of rhythm, and an acoustic guitar if you can catch it, that never gets old.


5. BETTER MAN

What can I do? What can I do?
To get back to your heart
I'd swim the Mississippi river
If you would give me another start, girl



I couldn't close this list without Better Man, which is also featured on Coming Home, is an upbeat crowd-favorite of Bridges'. The beat has a sway to it, and like in Pull Away, the background vocals as well as the saxophone add a whole new layer to the song. Like I said before, this is a fan-favorite song, when they did this on stage in Indianapolis, - which sounded incredible live by the way, Better Man had the audience on our feet.

BONUS : Leon Bridges doing a cover of Pony by Ginuwine on stage in Houston.


Cover Image Credit: Beau Grealy

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Poetry On Odyssey: I was I am

A poem for those struggling with who they were.

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it seems almost like a page

in someone else's book now


how there was

a time that i thought

i could have been happy

with someone like you


a million years before

i knew who i was

and that i should mean so much more

than i ever did to you


i almost can't remember

the way you held your elbows or

the way you said the letter o or

the way you told me goodnight


it seems now

that all i can recall

are my relentless tears and

the fear that this was the love

that everyone spoke about


the fear that this

was what id have to live with

for the rest of my life


i remember those late nights

just you and i

you always got what you wanted

i was always too afraid to upset you

looking back i wonder why

i couldnt leave you then


but you kept me

my misery maintained until

i felt like nothing


that night was the record scratch

When I knew my life

Shouldn't be like this.


It wasn't until I finally broke our ties

That I started to remember

Who I am.

But my mind is clear now.

I can remember

How strong I am,

How perfectly happy I am

On my own.


It seems almost like a page

In someone else's book now.


You're finally fading away.

I just wish my scars could fade as quickly.

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