Leon Bridges opens his new album, Good Thing, with the deceptively simple line “I better slow down.” The 28-year-old Fort Worth native’s life has indeed been moving at a breakneck pace: In the span of two years he went from dishwasher to Grammy nominee. He kicked off his career—and a major-label bidding war—with the elegiac single “Coming Home.” His 2015 debut album of the same name reverently evokes Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, but his sophomore set, out May 4 on Columbia, is richer and more ambitious, full of musings on his parents’ migration across the South. Bridges conjures postwar American culture in his style as well as in the studio. He’s given to slim suits and polished leather shoes, even if he still harbors memories of the fitted-cap collection he amassed in high school. When Playboy caught up with him, he was in Shreveport, Louisiana, preparing for a show—still for a moment.