Single Review – Jake Bugg – Bitter Salt

Jake Bugg is full of surprises. First, we get a taste of a soulful, bluesy direction with the sombre sounds of On My One and Love, Hope and Misery – an indication that the Nottingham-born singer-songwriter is sticking to his dark and vintage roots. As well as this, we get the fast-paced Gimme the Love; a track with an electronic undercurrent completely contrasting from any of Bugg’s other material. His latest endeavour, Bitter Salt, is an intermingling of the two styles. The track opens with a simple yet punchy set of chords, backing Bugg’s coarse vocals, driven by lyrics hinting at the more terse tones explored in On My One. The verses then build instrumentally to fabricate the chorus – an unusual fusion of pithy lyricism with an anthem-like structure, sculpted by hearty electric guitars and percussion. This festival -fit arrangement is more comparable to the up-beat ventures of Gimme the Love. The concluding hook of the track is what sets it aside as one of Bugg’s more convoluted numbers. It heightens the song immensely – if festival-goers weren’t already fist-pumping to the chorus, they will be when this electrifying riff detonates. This track may not be an absolute sensation, yet it certainly enhances the intrigue surrounding Jake Bugg’s experimental third studio album.

Eleanor Chivers

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