Leon Bridges is known for his unique brand and approach to modern soul music. He’s also known for a visual flair that matches the creativity he imbues in his music. The singer-songwriter gave us strong examples of both with the release of his most recent album Gold-Diggers Sound. He continues to give us the best of both worlds by teaming with director Bradford Young for short film “For It Shall Perish And Never Leave Us Again,” which was originally released as an Apple Music exclusive.
The short film combines visuals for his songs “Born Again,” “Steam” and “Blue Mesas” utilizing stunning shots and backdrops that enhance the lyrics and moods of each track. It opens with Leon in silhouette playing guitar as beautiful scenes of nature flash, eventually focusing on trees and a stone building that becomes a sort of motif throughout the film’s 19-minute run time. Eventually, the artist’s slightly distorted voice begins to narrate before coming into fuller focus. We’re then abruptly taken into black and white as the camera shows Leon sitting on an empty set draped in a glittering mirrored cape as the opening chords of “Born Again” swim into the speakers.
This is only the beginning of the lush imagery, though, as we are shown Black men communing with nature, family and each other throughout the short. Of course, the section dealing with “Steam” should feel familiar as it’s essentially the music video he released a few months back. However, seeing it in context of the short gives it an even deeper meaning to the display of dance and joy conveyed throughout. Before the section featuring “Blue Mesas,” we’re treated to scenes of candid conversations with Leon’s mother and a few friends before we’re given a spoken word segment. This section seems to combine all the previous scenes and elements as Leon sings before eventually taking us back to the dimly lit room, though we see more of him than just silhouette as he plays before it all fades to black.
Leon Bridges remains innovative in his expression, and we remain captivated by what he does. Watch “For It Shall Perish And Never Leave Us Again” when you press play.