Nick’s Pick: Leon Bridges – “Bad Bad News”

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(Columbia)

Nick’s Picks is the name of my former column for the Colorado College student newspaper, the Catalyst. Here at Skraphouse, it’ll be the name of songs I’ll choose to highlight. It’s like my version Pitchfork’s Best New Tracks.

On first listen of Leon Bridges’ new single, “Bad Bad News,” I was caught off guard as I thought it was another new Anderson .Paak song. I hope Bridges would take that as a compliment because .Paak is one on the most talented and smoothest R&B artists of the last five years.

“News” is a pivot from Bridges’ excellent debut Coming Home, which was inspire by gospel, soul and early rock ‘n roll. The new Bridges is interpolating R&B, funk and jazz. His voice bounces off the drums with a silky falsetto. At the end, he’s riffing on the guitar like he’s at a New Orleans jazz club. While the song title suggests sadness, the song itself conveys the confidence of well-tailored velvet suit on a man whose comebacks outweigh his setbacks.

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