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.
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.