Even though Jungle come from the concrete jungle of London, their throwback soul-funk-pop has always conjured up images of US West Coast glitz and glamour. Just give their new single “Heavy, California” a listen, and you too will be taken to another place, rollerblading down Venice Beach with this hot tune as the soundtrack.
Jungle is a duo made up of Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland. They released their debut album in 2014 to roaring reviews and an impressive record sale. And as we saw at Roskilde Festival 2015, their intoxicating live shows have won over everybody. They served up lots of bounding grooves and syrupy hooks that made a packed festival tent sway their hips and dance about. In a live setting the duo expands to a seven-piece band whose party atmosphere becomes so moist and hot that the bulbs in all thermometers will explode.
Jungle released their follow-up album, For Ever, in 2018. An album the duo has described as “a post-apocalyptic radio station playing break-up songs.” Jungle's slinky grooves and bright disco-soul style are still sunny, but they are contrasted lyrically as they simmer with desperation and regret. Sugary samples are dancefloor-ready but the falsetto vocals sing about distant partners, crashed dreams and a scramble to find shelter from emotional pain. The juxtaposition of heavy feelings and summery atmospheres adds depth to Jungle’s pop sounds.
Jungle’s upbeat funk is impossible to stand still to. If you’re up for a party you can dive right into it, and you need to mend a broken heart, it’s suitable for that as well. The soulful septet can do pretty much anything at this point. Not be to missed!