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Three bands that bring the coffee shop home

Leon Bridges official Coming Home album cover. Photo courtesy of Columbia Records.
Leon Bridges official “Coming Home” album cover. Photo courtesy of Columbia Records.

How are some coffee shops just so good at creating the perfect atmosphere for their customers? A lot of the time it comes down to the right music. Luckily, one can recreate this same vibe even at home. Below are some golden, café worthy artists that will warm your heart more than a cup of coffee.

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday or “Lady Day” was a jazz singer and song-writer who came to prominence in the 1930s. Holiday made a lasting impression on American jazz and pop culture and is best known for her morose, yet sultry voice with lyrics to match. Though most of her music is about heart-ache and lost love, it’s still a romantic and redolent experience of the beauty and pain in love. “Forget If You Can” exemplifies her theme of longing nostalgia:

“Why shouldn’t we play

More happy moments like we used to spend

They were so perfect

Too perfect to end

Let your heart forget it you can”

Surprisingly, the orchestral melody is upbeat, disguising the sorrowful lyrics in order to perhaps catch the listener off guard or serve as a symbol of her exterior façade and dark thoughts. Like any brilliant artist, Holiday’s music is complex yet melodic enough to enjoy even in a light-hearted setting. All in all, Billie Holiday makes for a slow, relaxing morning, which is perfect for a coffee shop-like feel.

Fleet Foxes

This band was the first that came to mind. Hailing from Washington, much of this group’s music was heavily inspired by the nature and mountain ranges that are so representative of the state. Their style is distinct in the way that their sound is comprised of dreamy vocal harmonies accompanied by woodwinds and minimalistic lyrics. “Blue Ridge Mountains” is holistic and comprises all of these unique elements.

“In the quivering forest,

Where the shivering dog rests,

Our good grandfather

Built a wooden nest.

And the river got frozen,

And the hole got snowed in,

And the yellow moon glowed bright

Till the morning light.”

Their words create powerful imagery and make the listener feel as if they are caught up in a tempestuous but enchanting forest. Their music is magical and constructs the type of atmosphere that makes one glad that they’re in doors, sipping on coffee.

Leon Bridges

Leon Bridges is a popular, soulful R&B singer who derives his sound and style from the 1950s and ’60s. His most well-known song, “Coming Home” is reminiscent of the Motown sound for its upbeat, gospel-like melodies. Not only is his music catchy, his voice is so angelic that it will send shivers down one’s spine.

While his audio is already spectacular, his music videos add another level to this ’60s inspired theme. Songs like “Better Man” and “Smooth Sailin’” are filmed and presented in the same iconic fashion as the live performances of hit Motown songs. Take a step back in time with Bridges and experience a contemporary spin on a priceless era.

Though these artists are diverse, they all share the ability to make one feel content and at home. Indulge in your coffee and take a listen to this selection of special musicians.

Anisha Brady can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.

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