When an 18-year-old Jake Bugg burst onto the scene in 2012, enthralling with the uncommon wit of a kid from an inner-city estate in Nottingham and an acoustic guitar, it seemed clear to all who heard him that he’d be around for the long haul. Though the attitude and the craft remained intact, many felt that 2013 follow up Shangri La was a disappointment in comparison to the self-titled debut that won over so many.
Seemingly enough, so did Bugg himself. Latest effort On My One is scheduled for release this summer after a lengthy songwriting process encompassing nearly two years. Of course, as the title indicates, this album finds Bugg stepping out almost completely solo for the first time on record in both writing and production capacities. As he has said, “I saw this as the logical next step in my development as a songwriter. It was a challenge but something I felt I had to do.”
Lead single, Gimme The Love provides an explosive introduction to this new chapter in Jake Bugg’s career. A flubbery bassline rumbles beneath a hip-hop infused drumbeat, whilst Bugg urgently ushers you along with his rapid-fire vocals. After hinting that his new efforts would be darker, with his rap and dance influences emerging through his traditional folk sound, Gimme The Love drops the gauntlet with its meteoric departure from his previous.
The soaring melodies that fly throughout the chorus provide intermittent breaks from the otherwise unrelenting tempo flowing throughout, but do nothing to shake the intoxicating energy of the uncontrollably exuberant re-emergence.
Following the commercial success of his first two albums Jake Bugg could have formed a career in attempting to replicate their wistful charm. What Gimme The Love shows is an artist brave enough to step out of the shadow of his early work and open himself up for the renewed criticism that change can bring. There should be none forthcoming from this intense three-minute medley of trance-rap-indie, an emphatic whirlwind of a return, welcome back indeed.
By Lennon Craig