Jake Bugg

The first I heard about Jake Bugg was a short interview in Q, which made him sound interesting. He’s eighteen, he’s been playing and singing since he was about twelve and even better, been writing songs since he was about fourteen. He wasn’t interested in the hip hop and other such things most of his friends were into, and instead investigated things of a more guitary nature. Apparently he was inspired by hearing Don MacLean’s Vincent on the Simpsons…

He’s played at Glastonbury, and is generally getting a lot of attention. Apparently his song Lightning Bolt was used during that running, jumping and throwing things contest[1] that was on in the summer, but I wasn’t paying attention to that, so I missed it.

So, having heard about him, I checked out a few tracks on Spotify and a recent BBC 6 Music live session. And I liked what I heard, so when the album came out a couple of weeks ago, I bought it from 7 Digital without the slightest hesitation. And I’ve been listening to it ever since.

The songs range from quite gentle ballad type things, just Jake and a guitar and some faster full band material that owes much to the rhythms of Skiffle, for those old enough to remember that. And it all sounds pretty damn nice, but that’s not what I’m going to babble about. It’s the actual songwriting that’s got me hooked on this album. I don’t recall being this impressed with a new songwriter since the Arctic Monkeys first appeared, and that was a while ago.

For instance, Two Fingers is as good a song as any I’ve heard for a while. Jake sings of moving on and getting on with life in a not actually autobiographical manner, even if it sounds like it:

So I kiss goodbye to every little ounce of pain
Light a cigarette and wish the world away
I got out, I got out, I’m alive and I’m here to stay
So I hold two fingers up to yesterday
Light a cigarette and smoke it all away
I got out, I got out, I’m alive and I’m here to stay

Better still, here’s the video:

Another song that’s buried itself deep into my head is Seen it all, about what happens when you crash the wrong party…

And at the door they shone a light into my face
Have to admit I felt a little out of place
But I made my way inside
Past a thousand crazy eyes
Then a friend took me aside
Said everyone here has a knife

I’ve seen it all, I’ve seen it all now
I swear to god I’ve seen it all
nothing shocks me anymore after tonight
I’ve seen the light
but not the kind I would have liked

And there’s a lot more – fourteen songs on the album, most of them short and to the point, all of them worth listening to. Jake’s got the voice, and the talent to go far.

Lots more to see on his YouTube channel, and this interview on 7 Digital is worth a read.

[1] Is it safe to say O*y*p*c* yet? Wouldn’t want any trademark issues…

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  1. Pingback: Jake Bugg – Seen It All | Losing it

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