Originally from Clifton, Nottingham, Jake Bugg was signed by Mercury Records at the age of 17 after playing the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury 2011, and has gone on to release singles such as Lightening Bolt, Taste It and his latest Two Fingers exciting the ears of eager listeners (and with good reason too). I too, was pretty much itching to get my hands on Jake Bugg’s self titled debut album.
Sharing the same home town with a prestigious young talent like this makes it hard not to hear his name whispered excitedly around cafe bars or see it splashed upon walls on posters. All you have to do is trust me when I say – Believe the hype. This guy is damn good, and its pretty unbelievable when you hear the sounds he’s making to think he is only 18. In fact, Bugg did more than exceed my expectations with his debut. Clocking in at just under 40 minutes long, with 14 songs all rolling nicely into each other, it has a wholesome feel about it and on top of this the catchy riffs and infectious melodies are a solid formula for the album.
It kicks off with Bugg’s single Lightening bolt, setting the tone for the next few songs to have you jumping around your room like you’re 15 again. In one of my personal favourites, Seen It All, Bugg mentions taking ‘a pill or maybe two’ down in a car park, making me nostalgic of my own years spent as an East Midlands teen. However, if songs about popping pills in public places aren’t exactly your thing, there are plenty of juicy country moments and gentle riffs teamed with haunting vocals to sink your teeth into. His Country Song was chosen for a national TV beer commercial due to its authentic sound.
It is not hard to pick up on artists that have influenced Bugg’s work. Bob Dylan, Donavon, Oasis and The Beatles are all obvious ones, although Jake manages to keep an honest, post Arctic Monkeys youthfulness about it all. Bugg’s music echoes of a time when popular music wasn’t all about overly auto tuned floor fillers and in your face bass. It is a breath of fresh air, and a sigh of relief, to see that the love for all things rock and country is not totally lost in the youth of today.