British project Jungle are back with a new album and ready to spread their infectious energy across the globe again.
Jungle at Clockenflap 2017 by Billie-Grace Dunk
Jungle the project was birthed by childhood friends Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson (or T and J as they're more commonly known as). In 2012 the London based group propelled into our ears and onto our screens with their funk rhythms and fresh film clips. J and T developed Jungle into a collective project, working with different artists across diverse disciplines and grew the band to a seven piece outfit to perform live. They released a series of singles including "Platoon" and "Busy Earnin" and then released their self titled debut album in 2014 where they did a launch party on a Peckham rooftop and filmed the whole thing using drones. That same year they were nominated for BBC's Sound of 2014 prize and played at South by Southwest and Glastonbury Festival. The album went onto being shortlisted for the 2014 Mercury Prize.
In describing their aesthetic, Jungle don't choose to focus on the group or the members as such but rather an emphasis on the music and artistic expression around that. In an interview with Rolling Stone J and T explain that "Jungle stemmed from a desire for honesty… true connection and friendship. It’s about being in a collective and collective energy… team spirit". They also talked about the group being a collection of minds and talents and not front heavy, “We’re in an age where people are so, ‘It’s all about this lead singer,’ and there aren’t many groups around that are just about a collective sort of spirit. The press tends to focus it on one or two people because they’re seeking that sort of leadership, and for us, none of us really want to stand up and be the leader. We quite like the name leading it.” They go on to further state “If you go to a gallery, you don’t see a picture and then a portrait of the guy who painted it next to the picture,” says Lloyd-Watson. “Martin Scorsese doesn’t come on after the credits of one of his films. You don’t want to take the lead role because you don’t want to have to deal with that sort of expectation and responsibility of doing it because that then goes to your head and how can we then create music if it’s all about who we are, what we look like, blah blah blah blah blah.”
Jungle by Oliver Hadlee Pearch
The group are very much invested in challenging themselves to not re-produce music from their laptops on stage but rather have them be a more organic and live experience. And they're known for a killer live set because of it.
This year they've returned with new sounds, some a little darker than previously heard but all incredibly put together. They dropped their second feature album For Ever in September. Talking about the new album with Billboard, Watson said "It’s definitely a healing process on this record,” explaining that a close friend passed away while the band was recording their sophomore project. “The album is more vast in terms of where it goes from song to song and emotion to emotion. The first record was very much conceptual in its emotion. It wasn’t necessarily based on real-world experiences.”
Jungle will be down under for shows April 2019. Don't miss out on the opportunity to see them.