Both Lorde and Jake Bugg are musicians with serious chops beyond their years. Their sounds are completely polarizing, but they share the common trait of being incredibly inventive solo artists with a vision and flavour that warps their respective genres.
New Zealand’s Lorde is 16. When I was that age, I was still trying to figure out whether to upgrade my cassette player to a cd player and spent a lot of time sketching in my room wearing track pants. I certainly wasn’t recording kickass vocal tracks. Clean, bright, and fresh, I could listen to The Love Club all day long. I bet the kids in her algebra class nod their heads to this. I can see her morphing into a junior-version of St. Vincent with reductive dance-hall inclinations.
Nottingham’s Jake Bugg is 18. When I was his age, I was clumsily navigating my first relationship, which involved a lot of deep inhalations of Life Brand Axe Body spray and the entire discography of both Radiohead and The Cranberries. Jake Bugg’s music is a beautiful blend of folkish stylings which evoke Simon & Garfunkel, Laura Marling, and The Tallest Man On Earth. All he needs is a flossy new haircut, and he’ll be the folk scene’s new boss.
Who won this week’s Saturday Showdown? Was it luscious Lorde or jangling Jake Bugg?