As a general rule, I’m not usually drawn to modern singer-songwriter folk-rock types. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the music, it’s just that you probably won’t find me listening to the likes of Bon Iver or Mumford & Sons in my spare time.

But every now and then an artist will come around and transcend any misgivings I have about a particular sound.

Jake Bugg is one of those artists.

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His first single, “Trouble Town” found its way into my inbox a few months ago. I was absolutely floored.

This 18 year old kid (who could pass for much younger) from the UK with the nasal-toned twang of Woody Guthrie and pop sensibility of Donovan was singing with the road-weariness of a man three times his age.

I was all in on Jake Bugg.

With a lot of young artists with this much potential, you worry if there’s anything beyond the first single or if they will cow to the whims of a record company to make their sound more marketable (i.e. sell out).

I can happily report that such is not the case on Jake Bugg’s self-titled debut — hands down, one of the best albums of the year. He’s equally adept at rocking out (“Lightning Bolt“, “Seen It All“) as he is at taking things slow (“Broken”, “Ballad Of Mr Jones”, “Someone Told Me”).

He’s already blowing up in the UK and it’s only a matter of time before America gets Bugg-ed out. Get on the bandwagon now while there’s still room.

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  • kalalaumango

    With a lot of young artists with this much potential, you worry if there’s anything beyond the first single or if they will cow to the whims of a record company to make their sound more marketable (i.e. sell out)./////do you have to spell out the crap of marketing to a new audience, because your audience itself has been dumbed down from a promotional attraction or advertising traffic brought by horrible productions from which i was fleeing and initially enjoyed kcrw 25 years ago?? the united states has had the bug for years and that is what has made almost your entire a culture a sell-out. after all, your music is cheekily cute and other times quite good, but as i've asked for awhile — if someone has worked on the streets of your city over months at a time during 11 years ….. have you done that?? yet, your hospitality or evolution sucks to a degree that you cannot even invite that person for a party or a variance to the tried setting of benches on your streets…….what does that say about the creative flow or opening of your music beyond the constraints of constipated studios?? i've heard plenty of sell-outs playing studio sessions on your station which is why i rarely listen to them any longer — beth orton was lovely. glad i missed patti smith, but i hope she likes the rings i gave her. free money has polluted so much in this country — i will be in bliss when i leave permanently to a location of MY choosing after the time that you've been using MY work while funds owed to me to continue MY work have been blocked by your sell-out accountants. cheers.

    • Trollololo

      Oh god, where's the the thumbs down / spam button?!

  • Isaac Jakubowicz

    I am glad this a Democracy, and we have the "Right to Agree to Disagree…" Not quiet yet my friend! May be in a few years more (?) I think you have overrated him, sorry. Isaac Jakubowicz.

  • Alison

    After reading this article at work I was dying to give it a listen but my headphones weren't working. got on my laptop the second i got home… and it is awesome! I am definitely into this sound. He seems like he'd be cool live too. Hope he makes his way to the US soon- and makes LA a priority!

    Always discovering much awesome music thanks to KCRW~ love it so!

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