Coming Home

Album: Coming Home (2015)

Songfacts®:

  • This is the title track of Leon Bridges' debut album. He told HMV.com the story behind the artwork: "I didn't know what direction I wanted to go with for the cover at first," Bridges said. "One day we were on our way to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles and I spotted a dope wall on the street. I told my photographer Rambo, 'Hey this wall is perfect, let's take a photo here.' That photo and the red contrast was perfect for a classic looking record."
  • Leon Bridges wrote the song with Austin Jenkins, who is a former guitarist of the Texan rock band White Denim. "I was playing at the Magnolia Motor Lounge every Tuesday night for almost two years," Bridges recalled to Billboard magazine. "I was bussing tables at this little Tex-Mex restaurant. I'd get off work - sometimes in my uniform - and go play there. And one Tuesday night, Austin Jenkins happens to walk in."

    Bridges' performance that night caught the attention of Jenkins and he and his White Denim bandmate Josh Block began to champion the retro soul singer. The trio recorded an album with vintage equipment, using local musicians affiliated with White Denim. This song was the lead single of Bridges' debut long-player.
  • Born in Atlanta and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, the singer was known by the name Todd Bridges before he adopted the stage moniker Leon. His dad was a big fan of the '80s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes and named him after actor Todd Bridges, who played Willis (of "Whatchu talkin' about, Willis?" fame). But his college buddies nicknamed him Leon because of his resemblance to actor Leon Robinson, who starred in the movies The Temptations and Cool Runnings.
  • Bridges mostly grew up listening to '90s R&B artists like Usher and Ginuwine, and just a little bit of Otis Redding and Stevie Wonder whenever his dad was in control of the car radio. He dug deeper into old-school soul once he started singing himself. "In the beginning, I was so inspired by the music," he told Interview magazine. "I had the option to make something modern with classic undertones, but I wanted to make something that was exactly like that old sound. Of course, it's going to come out in my own way because I have R&B influences, but it's cool how my songwriting works out. A lot of the time, I'm not writing just classic-sounding songs, but songs that come from experience."
  • Bridges told the Toronto Sun why he appreciates the sound of classic soul music: "It was a sound that was not overproduced. There wasn't any beats - just the beauty of real instruments and the singing style, and the delivery was way more raw and simple. Those guys weren't singing a million vocal runs. It was very simple. I love that."
  • This was nominated for Best R&B Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards but lost to Black Messiah by D'Angelo & The Vanguard.
  • Coming Home peaked at #6 on the US albums chart and #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop tally. The single also made a few chart entries: #7 Adult Alternative, #39 Adult Top 40, and #19 R&B.
  • This was used on the TV show The Mysteries Of Laura in the 2015 episode "The Mystery Of The Ghost In The Machine." It was also featured in the 2016 movie Vincent N Roxxy, starring Emile Hirsch and Zoe Kravitz.
  • This was also used in a 2015 commercial for the Apple iPhone 6. It soundtracks a slow-motion clip of a seagull flying over a crashing wave on the shore of Hermosa Beach, California.

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