Having already released two records, the first being one of the most successful platinum selling debut albums ever, it comes as a shock that Jake Bugg is still only 22 years old. His latest single ‘Gimme The Love’ gives us a first glimpse at what album number three has to offer.
With an intro which wouldn’t seem out of place on an 80s inspired ‘jangle pop’ album, “Gimme The Love” can be seen as a turning point for Bugg. It is an incredibly obvious U-turn in terms of musical direction. At times his instantly recognisable voice appears to have almost been pasted on top of a fast paced backing track however, there is far more to the new sound than just this.
The chorus repeatedly cries “Just gimme the love!” Albeit not as lyrically spectacular as what the Nottingham born singer is known best for, it does provide opportunity for an instantaneously recognisable stadium-like sing along. Furthermore, the song features plenty of guitar solos, each sporting numerous effects pedals which draws unique similarities to the Stone Roses’ ‘Fools Gold.’ It is clear that Bugg has taken inspiration from the sounds of Manchester, more specifically that from the late 80s and early 90s which made up the prominent rise of the “Madchester” music scene.
Until recently Bugg hasn’t performed live since 2014 and has spent the majority of 2015 in studios on both sides of the Atlantic working on this year’s release. With it’s early roots coming from both Nottingham and Malibu, ‘On My One’ will be his third studio album and is set for release on June 17.
Despite the change in his sound, made particularly obvious with the release of “Gimme The Love,” it is clear that the 22 year old is showing no signs of adjusting his controversial views towards fellow musicians. He recently told the NME that Noel Gallagher’s latest album Chasing Yesterday was “pretty crap though, innit?”
Although his attitude seems to be staying the same, Bugg’s sudden change in musical direction is a risk, albeit a necessary one. His debut album showed charm and character, a clear sign of intent which was not only met with much critical acclaim but also bestowed him with a number one, selling over 600,000 copies to date. However, 2013’s ‘Shangri La’ was far less encouraging, to many it appeared rushed and stagnated in sound.
As a result the third album presents an aura of “all or nothing” for Bugg, surely two disappointing albums in a row could only confine him to the realms of unachieved potential? Such a notion could be behind the decision to introduce a new musical direction in the first place, there’s always the chance that an album which verges on experimentation can be received with mixed reviews but it also opens up a whole new outlet for the singer songwriter.
The sound of ‘Gimme The Love’ draws itself towards a more sellable tone of music, arguably making On My One destined for chart success when released later this year. Other early hints suggest that there will even be rapping on the new album on a track named ‘Ain’t No Rhyme’. Despite his open love of rap artists such as Wiley and Dizzee Rascal, you do have to wonder how the singer can go from releasing an album of folk songs to rap fuelled experimentation within a short amount of time.
Ultimately such a change in direction can be the beginning of a new era for an artist who can still be described as one of UK’s brightest young musicians. But whether it is done through rapping or taking inspiration from elsewhere, you have to admire the creative risk that ‘Gimme The Love’ and the album which shall follow is based upon.
Co-Editor of the Music Section at University of Nottingham’s IMPACT Magazine.