Jake Bugg is only 19 years old, but his mix of folk and rock evokes an older tradition. On his debut album, Jake Bugg, the British singer-songwriter saunters, strums and opens up across 14 unhurried tracks. Opener “Lightning Bolt” stomps along with lively electric guitar, while the single “Two Fingers” weaves and bobs with carefree confidence that betrays the hurt Bugg leaves behind.
Bugg also dials it down for heartfelt moments with vulnerable, bare-bones acoustic tracks “Simple As This,” “Someone Told Me,” and “Someplace.” The young Brit offers up the somber (“Ballad of Mr. Jones”) alongside the energetic (“Taste It”) and shows a full emotional spectrum across the album. “Authenticity to me. . . Well, I think music is about singing from the heart, being honest,” he told Rolling Stone at this year’s SXSW. “As a songwriter, it can be disheartening to see acts that don’t necessarily have any input on their own material to do so well in the charts.”
Jake Bugg will be released in the U.S. on April 9th.