Ella Kemp gives us the DL on how to listen to Jake Bugg’s new album…
The third album is always a tricky one. The first one brings to light the new and peppy star bursting with talent while the second album confirms what could have just been a bit of luck. This guy is actually good. The third album then has to prove that the artist’s talent will last the test of time, survive the newcomers and stay true to whatever got them there in the first place.
Jake Bugg resurfaced from the ashes last month after a pretty spectacular career with his self titled album in 2012, followed by Shangri La only the year after. With On My One, the surly singer-songwriter from Nottingham allegedly returns to his roots, writing about his hometown and allegedly about all of the reasons he looks so unhappy most of the time.
This means that the best tracks are those that go back to basics, featuring nothing but Bugg and his guitar. The album isn’t flawless, there are a few cringe moments and some times where he gets a bit carried away, but there are some gems. Here are the best songs and how to listen to them.
On My One
He broods, he scowls, he plays the guitar and he does it all alone. Friends abroad, family at home, flatmates sulking… I feel your pain, I get the summertime sadness of solitude and so does this guy. If you identify with Jake Bugg as he opens the record, this song is the one for you.
Gimme the Love
One of the more adventurous tracks, Gimme the Love shows Bugg pushing boundaries and testing his limits. The lyrics are still his own, but from the get go the track reminisces 80s grunge rock and asks for choirs to help out on the chorus. Take this one for a spin when you need to get.shit.done. The tenacious beat and rapping Jake Bugg, however foreign it may seem, will help you run any marathon and tackle any chore. Or at least get you a little bit of love, hopefully.
Never Wanna Dance
At first channelling some seriously vintage Dido with its opening instrumental, we have here the same melancholic Jake Bugg that we know with a mature twist. The reflective lyrics and calm and steady beat are perfect for that inbetween phase that everyone goes through. Just left school? Just left uni? Whatever your worry, ease it with Jake. No one understands him either.
By far the most beautiful song on the album, All That reminds us why we trusted the boy in the first place. Like Broken on the first album and Pine Trees on the second, this is the song to cry to, to love to, to wish to. The most simple rhythmic pattern and humble vocals, Jake Bugg doesn’t need anything else to break our hearts. On a cold evening, candles lit, chocolate ready and hot water bottle prepared, that is how All That is best served.
Love, Hope, and Misery
We couldn’t leave out a crowd pleaser could we? With a contagious and catchy chorus, not too poppy and not too whiney, Bugg strikes gold here with a song that ticks all the boxes. Its title pretty much sums up everything modern music is about and the melody is easy enough to sing along to in every situation. Best played at full volume when home alone, it was this song that carried me through the chore that is Moving Day as I sang my woes away with Jake.
It may not be your best, but you came through. We are still, now and forever yours, Jake.
Follow Ella on twitter: @Ella_Kemp