Jake Bugg has released his stunning new album Hearts That Strain, which was recorded in Nashville. The first taste of the album is the breezy single How Soon The Dawn, a collaboration with The Black Keys front man Dan Auerbach. Working with Grammy Award winning producer David Ferguson and Matt Sweeney, Jake recorded the album in Nashville with some of the best players in the history of popular music. As part of American Sound Studio’s legendary house band The Memphis Boys, Gene Chrisman and Bobby Woods provided the chops on such pivotal records as Dusty In Memphis, In The Ghetto, Suspicious Minds and Dark End Of The Street, cutting their teeth in sessions with Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick. It was a tricky phone call with Jake with a two second delay and a not so clear phone line but he did talk briefly with Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles about the new album and plans to tour Australia next year.

Congratulations on album number four, it must feel pretty good knowing it’s finished and out there?
Um, it’s nice to have the album finished of course but now the hard work starts and the nerves start because you don’t know what is going to happen.

Is it a bit frustrating to get through that period of when the album is finished to when the album actually comes out?
Yeah but I am about to start touring in November which will be great to finally start playing these new songs, the record will be out by then and hopefully people would have listened to it and come to the shows. I’ll still be playing some old songs as well as all the new ones.

Was this album an easy album to make and did you have a clear vision for the direction of Hearts That Strain?
No not really! I didn’t have any vision, I just kind of wrote some songs really, record them and master them. Before I knew there was an album after five or six songs. I didn’t expect it to be that quick and probably the easiest album I have ever made.

The collaboration with Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys sounds awesome, how did that come about?
Well, I have met Dan once or twice before as I supported them in America so we already had an acquaintance through friends before. My friend Matt Sweeney also knew him so we wrote a couple of songs and sent each other the masters which was cool. We did jam around for a few minutes before throwing some lyrics around, having a laugh, had lots of tea and was a lot of fun.

How was the collaboration with Noah Cyrus (younger sister of Miley Cyrus)?
Yeah, I had never met her before this but I was so happy with the result. I think I would do more of this next time round.

Do you have a list of people who you would like to collaborate with next time?
Um, not really!

Was the process of recording in Nashville something that you needed to do to bring out that certain something in the recording?
It was very cool to be there but I don’t think I could ever live there to be honest. For song writing it is great because you can just hang out with some amazing people. To have the opportunity to work with amazing people such as Chris Chrisman and Bobby Woods was great.

Were you in awe working with the legendary musicians?
Yeah but we’re in studio for the same purpose to make the music sound good. I was focused on what I needed to do but yeah it was an incredible time.

Are there any plans to head down to Australia at some point next year?
Hopefully I’ll be there early next year and I have played some incredible shows and festivals in Australia. We’ll put the album out over there and see how it goes but the plan is to play some shows there next year.

Interview by Rob Lyon

Jake Bugg’s new album Hearts That Strain is out now through EMI.

Jake Bugg - Hearts That Strain