Jake Bugg: Shangri La - Album Review

Straight from the beginning bars of opening track ‘There’s a Beast and We All Feed It’, Jake Bugg is radiating the energy of youth and crying out about love and heartbreak. At only one minute 42 seconds, it may be a quick burst of lilting rhythms to being with, but it’s more than enough to get you into his music and get you completely hooked for more. Fast paced, punchy and catchy to boot, Bugg begins as he means to go on with more of the tunes that shot him to fame. 

The latest single ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’ brings another layer to his music, with an attitude laced with sass and rebellion. Jagged riffs and abrupt changes in tempo gives the listener an interesting listen that then leads into the softer ‘Me and You’ that follows. Indeed, ‘Me and You’ proves to be one of the highlights of Shangri La, the simple and fuss-free style bringing a smile to your face and your ears. The track is guaranteed to be placed on repeat straight away, for Bugg makes being a musician sound effortless. 

Throughout Shangri La the essence of lingering summer is clear and brings all the fun that goes with it. The driving guitars match the coarse drawl of the Nottingham singer perfectly so that one is the extension of the other. For a 19 year old, Bugg’s distinctive sound has maturity and experience beyond his years, commanding each and every track with the confidence of an assured and skilled performer. From bringing you inner-peace after the most stressful of days when listening to ‘A Song About Love’ or riling you up for a big party to ‘Kingpin’, as the album plays on, there really are tracks to suit everyone. 

3.5/5 stars

Kate Walker


Wireless went to see Jake on the Brighton leg of his recent UK Tour. If you get a chance go see this guy in an indoor venue outside of the festival season. He has a no bollocks attitude and just gets up and belts out track after track putting on a brilliant show.