Imagine Donovan singing about White Lightning and you’ve got Jake Bugg; a precocious talent fusing retro folk with blistering contemporary rock riffs. This debut is recorded in an old fashioned way, yet the lyrics are unquestionably modern. For a teenager there’s a lot of life experience on display – alcoholism, drugs, and gangsters feature on ‘Seen It All’. ‘Troubled Town’, about breaking out of disadvantage, has shades of Buddy Holly to it. Musically it’s got many gears too, from the heartfelt finger-picking of ‘Broken’ to the full-speed smash ‘Lightning Bolt’. With a distinctive sound that’s certain to have mass appeal, this teen troubadour is set to smash it.
Words by SIMON BUTCHER