It was suggested that I listen to some newer artists for review, so I downloaded Jake Bugg's self-titled debut, thinking, You can't get much newer then a 19-year-old.
Bugg is a British singer/songwriter who's a bright flash in the UK charts and press. To my delight, the teen weaves a retro-folk sound with a modern thread of Brit-pop. His songs flip back and forth from acoustic-folk to upbeat roots, and he combines understandable lyrics with melodies that hook you.
Many of Bugg’s lyrics are inspired by his upbringing in the projects of Nottingham: "I got out alive, and I'm here to stay," he sings on "Two Fingers." "One Friday I took a pill or maybe two/ everyone here has a knife," he observes at a party gone wrong on "Seen It All." And on "Trouble Town," Bugg sings to a rockabilly/shuffle beat, "Oh boy, you missed your payment." But my two favorites are pure throwbacks to acoustic-folk singing, "Simple as This" and "Someone Told Me," which expose the musical influences of early Dylan and Donovan, Ryan Adams, and perhaps a rediscovered "Sugarman" Rodriguez.
I like everything old being new again, especially coming from a young, authentic artist with a bright future in music. Jake Bugg plays the House of Blues on Wednesday, October 2.
- Album: Jake Bugg
- Artist: Jake Bugg
- Label: Mercury
- Songs: (1) Lightening Bolt (2) Two Fingers (3) Taste It (4) Seen It All (5) Simple as This (6) Country Song (7) Broken (8) Trouble Town (9) Ballad of Mr. Jones (10) Slide (11) Someone Told Me (12) Note to Self (13) Someplace (14) Fire