Jake Bugg: The Council Estate Dylan Who Just Topped The Charts

Teenage singer-songwriter Jake Bugg channels Bob Dylan to create powerful, exciting music, driven by a desire to escape from the estate he grew up in. His self titled album has just hit number 1 in the UK charts, here's why you should pay attention...
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Teenage singer-songwriter Jake Bugg channels Bob Dylan to create powerful, exciting music, driven by a desire to escape from the estate he grew up in. His self titled album has just hit number 1 in the UK charts, here's why you should pay attention...

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Every now and then you hear something new that restores your faith in proper music and fills you with anticipation and excitement of what's to come. Last week I had two tip off's suggesting there was something I needed to hear. One came from the person who put me onto the Roses years back, and the other from someone who has steadfastly refused to listen to anything other than Arctic Monkeys since 'I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor'.

With the recommendations ringing, last night I introduced my ears to Jake Bugg. First up was Bugg's latest single 'Lightning Bolt', promoted by Zane Lowe in his record of the week. You know you're onto something, someone, when a thought to check it's not a cover of an obscure Dylan gem crosses your mind seconds after a smile has crossed your lips.

It chugs along with a quick acoustic beat matched by an instantly classic vocal delivery of fast paced lyrics, recalling 'Subterranean Homesick Blues'. You know straight away that Bugg's got something and repeat the song, twice last night, a further three times this morning. The smile returns every time.

Quick research reveals that Jake Bugg, bred on one of the UK's largest council estates in Nottingham, has only just turned eighteen. It's a fact that is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

He's a wordsmith in the Dylan sense of the word, painting pictures of the estate he grew up in, and the hope of getting out.

Vocally, lyrically, and in terms of the three songs I've listened to so far, he's a man with a talent bestowed on precious few, let alone a kid. He's a wordsmith in the Dylan sense of the word, painting pictures of the estate he grew up in, and the hope of getting out. "Everyone I see just wants to walk with gritted teeth, But I just stand by and I wait my time" in the aforementioned 'Lightning Bolt', and again in 'Troubled Times'; "Stuck in speed bump city Where the only thing that's pretty, is the thought of getting out. There's a tower block overhead, all you've got's your benefits and you're barely scraping by".

In 'Country Song' Bugg strips things back in a delicately beautiful yearn for a loved one, with a nod to Don McLean. It sounds like something from a musically superior era long since past.

He's eighteen.

In a Guardian article last month (http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/may/27/jake-bugg-nottingham-interview), Bugg recalled "At school people would say I should go on Britain's Got Talent, but I would never have done that because it doesn't seem genuine, it doesn't feel natural."

Discovering Jake Bugg is a refreshing reminder that proper music will always find its way. That kids will always pick up guitar and that some of them can produce something so wonderful that it blows all the fake plastic shit of X Factor and the like to pieces.

His debut album is out on October 15th, with a tour to promote in accompaniment.

For now, familiarise yourself with that which has been gifted so far and leave your thank you's in the comments section.

Lightning Bolt

'Troubled Town' 

'Country Song' 

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