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Leon Bridges and Khruangbin, 'Doris'

The 2020 EP Texas Sun established the common ground between a pair of artists from the Lone Star State. Now, on the sibling EP Texas Moon, singer-songwriter Leon Bridges and global-minded trio Khruangbin have joined forces again, creating a nostalgic groove with soul-funk rhythms and bluesy undertones. The leading track, "Doris," hooks you in from the jump.

Speaking with NPR's Kelsey Snell this month, Bridges explained that the song tells the story of his grandmother's final moments, from his father's perspective: "I wanted to carry on her legacy in that tune." But the track itself is less explicit, featuring ambiguous lyrics and a twangy instrumental that creates an air of mystery. "Don't close your heavy eyes, Doris / You have so much / So much to leave behind," Bridges croons, tiptoeing around the subject of death. His soft and soulful vocals are slightly distorted over the slow, heavy bass line, breathing sensuality with an emphasis on the "B" in R&B. There is depth in the contrast between what he sings and how he sings it, the vague storytelling making you crave the missing details that his mournful delivery evokes. "Maybe I'm selfish, don't know the pain deep inside," he admits. "You put up a good / Put up a damn good fight."

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Taylor Jennings-Brown
Taylor Jennings-Brown is a 2021-2022 Kroc Fellow. She is a thoughtful writer from Durham, North Carolina and is a spring 2021 graduate from the University of South Carolina, where she received her bachelor's degree in mass communications and anthropology.