Leon Bridges – “So Long”
Texas crooner Leon Bridges has been making a name for himself this year, first with the release of his debut album, Coming Home, and then with features on Apple ads and now a song on the upcoming Concussion soundtrack. On “So Long,” the gospel and soul inspired musician creates a song reminiscent to Coming Home’s standout, “River,” as it is a mellow track with a strumming acoustic guitar, a soothing background choir and Bridges’ silky vocals that create a melancholy ballad that somehow still manages to sound hopeful. Concussion, which stars Will Smith as the doctor who discovers the seriousness of brain injuries in the NFL, comes out on Christmas. It is possible, though, that “So Long” will be what steals the show.
Taylor Bennett – “Broad Shoulders (feat. Chance the Rapper)”
While Chance the Rapper has become one of the more prominent artists in hip hop, his younger brother Taylor is beginning to try and follow in his older brother’s footsteps. Of their relationship, Bennett explained that the “thing with my brother is that he always wanted me to work on myself and create my own name before we got to work together. He always knew that I was great enough to get a fan base and sell out shows and get a lot of views. It’s a very meaningful song to our family and our next generation.” “Broad Shoulders” is the first released collaboration between the two brothers, and is said to also be the title track of Bennett’s yet to be released debut album.
Thundercat – “Paris”
With the terrible attacks that happened in Paris, France on Nov. 13, the music world was shaken as one of the locations of horror was at an American rock band’s concert. While the members of The Eagles of Death Metal were okay, many people in the venue and around the city were not, and in the following days musicians have released songs in homage and tribute to those affected. Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) released a blunt song titled “NO Colonial Fiction” while producer and multi-instrumentalist Thundercat shared a short instrumental track titled “Paris.” Whether it was the street performer who was video taped playing John Lennon’s “Imagine” among a crowd in Paris, soccer rivals singing the French national anthem together or the songs that were recorded on the other side of the world, people have shown that music crosses borders, religions and languages, and can help heal and unite in the times when we need it most.