Retro-soul singer Leon Bridges made his second high-profile television appearance in as many weeks Saturday when he served as musical guest on the Ryan Gosling-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live. The up-and-coming artist treated the audience to a pair of tracks from his 2015 album Coming Home: The gospel-influenced rave-up “Smooth Sailin'” and the powerful, soulful “River,” the closing track from his debut LP, one of Rolling Stone‘s 50 Best Albums of 2015.
The SNL was perhaps the biggest solo performance of Bridges’ young career, as two weeks ago he helped out Macklemore & Ryan Lewis when that duo premiered their stirring recovery ballad “Kevin” at the American Music Awards. Every year, it seems SNL offers its stage to a lesser-known artist on the cusp of becoming a household name – Bastille in Season 39, Hozier in Season 40, etc. – and Bridges is the latest in that lineage.
Saturday Night Live will next welcome musical guests Chance the Rapper (December 12th) and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (December 19th, an episode hosted by SNL alumni Tina Fey and Amy Poehler).