Concert preview: Leon Bridges time travels on his debut full-length Coming Home

Andy Downing, Columbus Alive

Leon Bridges might be scientific proof that time travel is possible.

Both the singer's fashion sense - in press images he generally sports high-waist pants, crisp, wide-collar shirts and a tight-cropped, immaculately stylized 'do - and his retro-soul sound come on as though he were transported to these modern times direct from the 1950s.

In truth, however, Coming Home, Bridges full-length debut, surfaced just this year, awash in throwback musical details (horns, doo-wop backing vocals, vinyl-era reverb) and driven by Bridge's tempered, honeyed voice, which remains every bit as impeccably tailored as his wardrobe. Befitting this nostalgia-heavy sound, the Atlanta-born, Texas-based singer hews to traditional themes throughout, filling his timeless songs with a variety of gentle, lovelorn pleas.

"What can I do to get back to your heart?" he asks on the strutting, horn-colored "Better Man," conjuring the ghosts of classic soul belters like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke.

Of course, not all of the album's central relationships are romantic in nature, and the purest declaration of love arrives in the form of "Lisa Sawyer," a glider-smooth ode to Bridge's New Orleans-born mother, who sacrificed her dreams of becoming a professional singer in order to care for her family.

"So I'm really able to carry out that dream," said Bridges, 26, who performs at the LC Pavilion on Monday, Oct. 26. "When I first wrote it I didn't tell her about it … and when I finally played it for her she just broke into tears."

On Coming Home, Bridges favors these intimate moments, painting detailed pictures of familial devotion and lovers coming together and drifting apart. The few times the singer turns his gaze outward, it merely serves to remind how relationships can act as a bulwark against these swirling external forces. "The world leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, girl," he sings on the title track, so better to huddle together and keep it at bay.

"The outside world ... can be very chaotic, and I like to write songs I can find comfort in," said Bridges, who first picked up a guitar while studying dance and choreography at Tarrant County College in Texas.

Even so, the singer refuses to limit himself, and he said he's open to letting his music move in whatever direction the songs might dictate in the future.

"I write whatever comes naturally, and when the time comes for that certain song, I'll write it," Bridges said. "It's definitely been a progression to what you hear now, and I'm still growing."

LC Pavilion

7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26

405 Neil Ave., Arena District