Summer is here, and that means backyard barbecues, beachside bonfires, and listless lazy afternoons. What better soundtrack for your summer than nostalgic neo-soul? It's a timeless sound that's been making a comeback over the last few years, and we couldn't be happier. Whether you're lounging by the water or trying to make family reunions more bearable, clear your mind with these incredible up-and-coming soul artists.
1. Leon Bridges
Leon Bridges' debut album Coming Home
will transport you to the swinging Sixties with his critically-acclaimed homage to that vintage soul and gospel sound. The Fort Worth native (and spitting image of a young Sam Cooke) writes from the heart, weaving tales from his childhood into his energetic, nostalgic songs. He may not have taken home the Grammy for Best R&B Artist, but he's certainly one of our new favorites.
2. Michael Kiwanuka
If you've watched HBO's recent masterpiece Big Little Lies
, you'll recognize Michael Kiwanuka's haunting voice from the opening credits. The London-based soul artist has been hailed as the modern equivalent of classic songwriters like Curtis Mayfield, Otis Redding, and even Van Morrison. His latest record Love & Hate
is a breathtaking work of art that draws you into a delicate world of bittersweet soul-searching.
3. The Suffers
In just two short years, The Suffers, have gone from selling out intimate venues down south to being one of the most sought after festival acts. Houston's best kept secret specializes in "gulf coast soul," an old-school blend of reggae, R&B, and country. Their self-titled debut record is the perfect summer soundtrack, and you can catch them at Baeble's own Bands and Brews
event this week.
4. The Greyhounds
The last few years have seen Austin, Texas transform into a hotbed of incomparable new artists from every genre imaginable, including the soulful singer-songwriters of the Greyhounds. The Greyhounds are a dynamic duo with eclectic energy and contagious charm. Their sound is a cross between ZZ Top and Hall & Oates, with a hint of retro R&B.
5. St. Paul & the Broken Bones
The gospel-infused soul of this Alabama ensemble sounds as good as a tall glass of sweet tea tastes on the perfect summer day. St. Paul & the Broken Bones quickly gained a mass of devoted fans when they formed in 2011, but only recently caught mainstream attention after the release of their brilliant record, Sea of Noise.
A surprising blue-eyed soul success, St. Paul & the Broken Bones are definitely ones to watch.
6. Anderson East
This soulful singer-songwriter isn't afraid of getting in touch with his southern roots. Drawing comparisons to Ray LaMontagne and Chris Stapleton, Anderson East sits comfortably in the space between country, gospel, and blues. His wistful lyrics and intimate, acoustic style are perfect for those laid-back summer nights.