Jake Bugg has put quite a bit of pressure on himself with his new release, On My One, by declaring it his “make or break” album. He’s essentially putting the rest of his musical career on the line at the age of 22.
Jake Bugg gives off a Johnny Cash-like vibe. He commands the stage with only his guitar and songs that are anything but cheery. But, instead of dressing like he’s attending a funeral, it’s his facial expressions that reflect the somber event. Bugg’s stone-faced on stage persona lead to a fantastic moment of levity during his concert at Reading Festival 2014. “Smile” can be heard chanted from the crowd. The kind of command you get from a bubbly co-worker on a gloomy Monday morning. Only instead of giving a death stare like we do to our co-worker, Bugg obliges by cracking through his stone face to flash his pearly whites (52:50 mark). He doesn’t savor the moment for long, as he quickly gets back to what he does best: music.
Jake Bugg has reason to have high expectations of himself. His debut self-titled album was met with critical and commercial acclaim. In 2012, the album entered the UK charts at number one. However, his second effort, Shangri-La (named after album producer Rick Rubin’s studio where it was recorded) received mixed reviews. It’s not as though Shagri-La was bad, Bugg had set such high expectations from the first album. Which brings us to Jake Bugg proclaiming On My One as his “make or break.” Jake Bugg has the confidence to bet on himself, and he did exactly that. Bugg wrote and produced every song on this album. On my one indeed.
Jake Bugg brings his incredible catalog of tunes to the Majestic Theatre on September 21, maybe we can get him to smile for us.