These expectations were gloriously shattered a few weeks ago when Punknews.org led me to the Bandcamp page of a young singer-songwriter-guitar-prodigy from Huntsville, Alabama named Colin Bugbee. Last month he released what appears to be his debut EP, Hallé, on Get Young Records, a very promising new label out of Boston. In these seven forlorn songs about drinking, heartache, and drinking, Bugbee carves out an astonishingly original and unique space for himself in this genre. His old-soul lyrics and fascinating guitar sketches are arresting enough, but it's the voice -- good lord what a voice -- that has me wearing out the grooves of that tiny file on my ipod. It's hard to peg a proper comparison to his singing. If you've been fortunate enough to experience the genius of Chris Flemmons of the Baptist Generals, that ought to give you a bit of an idea. Heck, why don't you listen for yourself? Here' s a tune off the EP, "Babe, I'm Goddamned Sorry", with subtle backing harmonies courtesy of a couple of Bud tallboys there in the background. It's a beautiful song from front to back, but you're missing the real payoff if you don't watch the whole thing. The version on the record is even better, with Bugbee desperately wailing "I'm not your man, I'm not your man" to finish the song.
Here's the closer, "Mail Order Magazine". Thankfully, the video is a still, so you don't have to worry about anything crawling into or out of the, err, fixtures in the foreground.
Out of the goodness of their hearts, Colin and the fine folks at Get Young currently are offering this terrific record for download at the amazing low price of nothing at all. You can check it out in its entirety, and download it, from his Bandcamp page:
The second track, "21 Overnight" is as good a song as I've heard all year.