shift fail

On My One

In fifteen words or less, I would say “it’s a mix of overthinking first instinct, overproducing the question marks, and driving forward anyway.” There wasn’t anyone in the room to bounce an idea off of or to look at when a moment was unclear. Jake Bugg did it himself, on his one. Writing, composing, performing, and producing all by himself. He is twenty two.

At twenty two I had a tendency to cry in bathrooms while drunk, show up barely thirty seconds before a shift at work, and failed to master the perfect cat eye that a fashion blog said I could learn.

Jake Bugg stretched his limits, flexing yet unused muscles in music and genre. He put himself into a vulnerable position for the whole world to see. And given his proclivity to a low profile and the guard between public and self, that is a feat to be celebrated.

It’s not the best album he’ll ever write or work on. It’s not in the running for album of the year, or any award that cool guy Jake Bugg would ever admit to wanting. This third album, a solo effort filled with questions of the future and uncertainty of identity, is not going to be something I go back to listen to often. It’s not an album that captures a moment in my life I will want to revisit in ten or fifteen years.

But as a fan, I’m proud of this album.

I think it captures a phase fraught with changed minds and misdirection and unclear expectations from yourself. It’s not a pretty time. There isn’t a neat ending, it sort of staggers closer to the next phase of time. Remnants linger in the back of your mind, drifting slowly to the recesses of dark nights alone or long car rides by yourself. Not all of it is pretty, or easy to get through, but all of it is genuine and vulnerable and important.

flower palms

it’s hard to breathe in this coffin.
words get tangled so often i softly
decline your invitation to
crack open the lid.

it’s easier to watch, rather than
brush the swatch of 
colour outside
my skin. it’s cold, out there.

lavender & dandelions wage war in the
open field. clots of blood glow golden,
smouldering in evening
lambency.

inside, the only shells are the ones on my shelf.
the only guns are the ones
screaming their lungs out inside of
my head.

that being said-
the smoke tastes of fear and dark coats,
shifting coldly whilst i fail to
understand myself.