Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

Leon Bridges is yet another male US singer-songwriter, but he’s not competing with acts like Tor Miller – he’s definitely in his own lane. He makes old-school soul music which sounds totally authentic, and that’s what makes it cool. His most talked-about song Coming Home shows off his voice and sets out his artistic intentions, but musically it doesn’t really go anywhere. I was waiting for it to take off… and then it was over. If you’re making music that harks back to an era of classic songwriting, you can’t forgo substance for style. Just sounding similar to a classic isn’t enough: Your songs need to be as good as those old hits, or we’ll just listen to the originals instead. The concept is strong and well executed, and he’ll sell albums and gig tickets on that alone, but I really hope he has a crossover hit up his sleeve. It feels like a wasted opportunity if he doesn’t.