British teen sensation hits the US

julia kuhn, bear facts features writer

Jake Bugg’s self-titled debut album topped the U.K. pop charts late last year, and is now hitting American markets. 

            Bugg is a nineteen year old British singer songwriter whose music is reminiscent of older musicians like The Beatles or Bob Dylan because of his folksy acoustic sound. He updates this sound with upbeat choruses and contemporary lyrics about teenage restlessness and his experiences in the streets of his hometown, Nottingham, England.

            “[I write about] everyday things. Sometimes I like to fantasize or make a story but sometimes I just talk about what’s happening right now in the world or what’s happening in. For example, I’ll write something about my town, about where I’m from and my estate,” Bugg said in an interview with contactmusic.com.

            The album has multiple high points, including Bugg’s storytelling lyrics in “Seen It All” and “TroubleTown.” These songs create images of theNottinghamprojects where Bugg grew up. In “Seen It All,” Bugg sings “I’ve seen it all, nothing shocks me anymore.” This statements is explained in the song, which tells a story of party, pills, and a knife. In “Lighting Bolt,” Bugg’s rock and roll sound along with fiery guitar solos hook listeners. One ballad, “Note to Self,” stands out because of the thoughtful and softer lyrics of encouragement and reassurance.

            There are some misses, like “Fire,” which has a reggae sound that does not fit with the rest of the album. Another miss is “Country Song,” a cliché ballad about walking down a country lane singing a country song. It does not have the imaginative lyrics of the other songs on the album.

            Overall, Bugg’s classic acoustic sound and relevant lyrics create an album that is both traditional and innovative. Jake Bugg’s debut is the impressive start to what is hopefully a long career.

            He will perform his album live at Lollapalooza this summer.