Leon Bridges Gets Taken To No. 4.

The North Texas music scene has really come into its own the past 12 months. There hasn't been a year in recent memory when so many local artists appeared on the Billboard charts, played Saturday Night Live and other late night television programs, or otherwise appeared in the national spotlight. Here, as we've done in years past, we're highlighting what we think are the 100 best songs locally-tied of the year. The thing is, as far as this list is concerned, we're judging the quality of the songs irrespective of the popularity of the people putting them out — meaning, you're just as likely to have a song by a Grammy-winning act sandwiched between a couple of high school bands. Hey, it's just more interesting that way. Also keeping with tradition, we'll be rolling out the list in smaller, more digestible portions every weekday through the end of the month, complete with embedded streams of each. We think that gives each of these more than deserving acts a little more shine, and it also gives you a little more time to really check out each of these high quality tunes — including, presumably, a few that you may have missed upon their initial release.

A lot can change in a year.

When Leon Bridges appeared on our list of the top local songs of 2014 things were different, to say the least. While gushing about his song “Better Man,” one of only two official recordings he'd released to that point, all we could talk about was how he seemed to come out of nowhere, quickly becoming one of the area's most promising performers in just a few months' time.

A few short weeks after that piece, he began what turned into an unprecedented 2015 that saw him making seven televised performances, getting to share the stage with The Beatles, topping the Billboard R&B charts and earning a Grammy nomination.

And one of the biggest leaps on that step to stardom came at the end of April, when his song “River” earned a placement in a prominent Beats by Dre ad that ran ad nauseam during the NFL Draft.

See Also:
The Top 100 Local Songs of 2015. // Counting Down From 100 to 81.
The Top 100 Local Songs of 2015. // Counting Down From 80 to 61.
The Top 100 Local Songs of 2015. // Counting Down From 60 to 41.
The Top 100 Local Songs of 2015. // Counting Down From 40 to 26.
The Top 100 Local Songs of 2015. // Counting Down From 25 to 16.
The Top 100 Local Songs of 2014.

Yes, even before his debut album officially earned its release in June, that disc's eventual closing track, “River,” helped jump-start Bridges on the path toward becoming something of a household name.

The track is a minimal-yet-powerful soul number that really cuts Leon's sound down to its utter essence. Long before he was sharing stages with the Willie Nelsons and Neil Youngs of the world — or, hell, even the locals known as the Texas Gentleman — he was a compelling solo performer with a unique ability to induce chills even in stale open mic night environments, the kind of musician that can stop you dead in your tracks when you randomly stumble on him busking one night.

Even after the remarkable, rave review-filled year he's had, it was perhaps his performance of “River” on a recent episode of Saturday Night Live — where he was backed by a minimal band and a Nashville gospel choir — that earned him the most global respect to date. We've seen him captivate and bring entire rock clubs to a complete hush with nothing but his voice and a beat up old acoustic guitar in the past, but it was that SNL debut that proved Bridges could effectively captivate the nation with nearly that same formula.

A year ago, all we could talk about was how this kid was going places. Now, Bridges has been everywhere, man. Everyone from you mom to your landlord knows who he is — or, at the very least, is familiar with his music.

And if there's still anyone out there complaining that Bridges got too big too fast, didn't pay his dues or otherwise doesn't deserve the success he's earned to date, we recommend they revisit the raw and inspiring talent on display throughout “River,” and then promptly shut the hell up.

The Full List: The Top 100 Local Songs of 2015.

100. Terrence Spectacle — “King's Cup”
99. Tunk — “Scarface The Rapper”
98. Lil Ronny MothaF — “Circle”
97. Denim Wonder — “I Love My City”
96. Sin Motivo — “Sintomas”
95. Kevin Aldridge — “Winner Leaves Town”
94. Sarah Jaffe — “Vision”
93. Coach Tev — “Omens (ft. Drugs, The Model Citizen & Rei Altru)”
92. Bummer Vacation — “Silver Hands”
91. Danny Cainco — “In My Bed”
90. Dove Hunter — “Dream Catcher”
89. GHETTODSKO — “It's Like That”
88. Toadies — “In the Belly of a Whale”
87. 87. Sad Cops — “Allen Road Park”
86. Essay EyE — “Day Da Day”
85. Astronautalis — “Sike”
84. The Azealia Project — “Chameleons”
83. Rhett Miller — “Most in the Summertime”
82. Botany — “Jotu”
81. Ghoulfive — “Materialistic”
80. VIDEO — “New Immortals”
79. No Touching — “Any Minute”
78. Damaged Good$ — “FCKBOY JIHAD PT. 1”
77. Jarvis Hodges — “Ball Out”
76. Hate Your Friends — “Whooda Thunk?”
75. Blessin' — “Eileen”
74. Birds of Night — “Asleep in the Pine”
73. Parquet Courts — “No, No, No!”
72. Bobby Sessions — “Black Neighborhood”
71. Larce Blake w/ Masego & BeMyFiasco — “SwingInLove”
70. Sudie — “Van Morrissey”
69. Buffalo Black — “High Noon”
68. Zane Williams — “A Song tor the Folks That Stole Our Van and Trailer”
67. Colton Carlyle — “Stalker”
66. Smoke Paint — “Chastity Belt”
65. Pinkish Black — “Brown Rainbow”
64. KoolQuise — “Cupid's Handgun”
63. Nick Jonas — “Jealous”
62. Skagg Philips — “Problems in Japan”
61. Brave Young Lion — “Girls”
60. Plain Jane Francis and Tony Q — “Silent Sounds”
59. Valise — “Charlie Gray”
58. Siamese — “Savage High”
57. Vandoliers — “Runaway Sons”
56. Claire Morales & Jena Pyle — “Strange”
55. Rhett Miller & Madison King — “Feel Like Fallin' in Love”
54. Nervous Curtains — “Devastator”
53. The Outfit, TX – “All Bills Paid” ft. Devy Stonez
52. These Machines Are Winning — “Kuru”
51. St. Vincent — “Bad Believer”
50. Snow that Product — “AyAyAy”
49. Kacey Musgraves — “Pageant Material”
48. Neon Indian — “Slumlord”
47. War Party — “Nolo Mori”
46. Conner Youngblood – “The Badlands”
45. Radioactivity — “Silent”
44. Birds of Night — “Dark”
43. A.Dd+ — “The Rhyme and The Rhythm”
42. Color TV — “Cadillac”
41. LUWUM — “The Band”
40. The Outfit, TX — “Wild Turkey”
39. Doug Burr — “White Night — Black Light”
38. Jake Paleschic — “When it is Played”
37. Party Static — “Mr Sexypants”
36. Pearl Earl — “Karaoke Superstar”
35. Lower Dens — “To Die in L.A.”
34. Selena Gomez — “Good For You”
33. Brack Cantrell — “Corpus Christi”
32. Demi Lovato — “Confident”
31. Herrick and Hooley — “Skeletor vs He-Man”
30. Dripping Wet — “She's Not Mine”
29. Maren Morris — “My Church”
28. Andy Pickett — “Don't Bro Me”
27. Post Malone — “Tear$”
26. Leon Bridges — “Smooth Sailin'”
25. Pyramids — “In Perfect Stillness, I've Only Found Sorrow”
24. War Party — “Teenager On Drugs”
23. Vincent Neil Emerson — “East Texas Blues”
22. Shaun Martin — “One Big Party”
21. Telegraph Canyon — “Why Let it Go”
20. Felix — “Ain Afraid”
19. Neon Indian — “Annie”
18. The Warden — “Our Town”
17. St. Vincent — “Teenage Talk”
16. Erykah Badu — “Cel U Lar Device”
15. Dead to a Dying World — “The Hunt Eternal”
14. LEV — “Shadow”
13. G.U.N. — “Johnny Cage”
12. Jonathan Tyler — “To Love Is To Fly” (feat. Nikki Lane)
11. Picnictyme — “Burnin Up”
10. Radioactivity — “Battered”
9. Andy Pickett — “It Happens Every Night”
8. Reagan James — “Blue”
7. Demi Lovato — “Cool For the Summer”
6. Erykah Badu — “Hello” (feat. Andre 3000)
5. Post Malone — “White Iverson”
4. Leon Bridges — “River”
3. ?????
2. ?????
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