By Hollie Jones
The existence My Space, Facebook, Spotify and Youtube gives music lovers the gift of hearing new and emerging talent months before any official release. Sadly, most often this results in hyperbole, anticipation and is swiftly followed by disappointment (Lana Del Rey I’m looking at you). I am pleased to report that the self-titled debut album from 18-year-old singer songwriter Jake Bugg not only breaks, but smashes this mould.
Totaling less than 40 minutes in length, the 14 track album balances vintage, fifties inspired composition with story-telling that is firmly rooted in the year 2012. Each track on this album could be mistaken as the product of a bye-gone golden era if not for contemporary lyrical counterparts. Lyrics such as “I skin up a fat one, hide from the feds” (‘Two Fingers’) that are delivered by crisp, nasally vocals akin to Dylan, seamlessly blend with folk flecked, rockabilly melodies. Even the production of Jake Bugg plays into this dichotomy, with closing track ‘Fire’ achieving a rustic, vintage sound and warm vinyl style crackles, despite being recorded on an iPhone.
It is the simplicity of tracks like ‘Fire’ that make the album so special. A pure, clean production that is emotionally raw and written by a wonderfully old-soul.