When Jungle’s debut EP was released late last year, it was clear the group was something special. Featuring simple but groovy rhythms that bounce from track to track and layers thicker than the crust of the Earth, each song on the EP is an instant dance party.
I’m realizing more and more how lucky I was to see Jungle at The Echo earlier this year because they won’t be playing a venue that small again anytime soon. With a freshman LP just a week from release, Jungle is already hot and they show no signs of cooling down.
The mysterious UK group kicks off their self-titled debut album with an uptempo number called “The Heat,” a track perfect for driving around Los Angeles. It starts off with an intimidating voice proclaiming “Still gonna bring the heat” followed by a confident groove with a police siren over the top of it. Shortly after, Jungle’s signature funk group vocal enters the track, as rhythmic and melodic as always.
The album continues with more amazing tracks, including “Busy Earnin’” and “Platoon.” The former rides high and propels funk in your face; it’s already my theme song of this year. A horn section blasts a line that sounds like it is out of a 1970s cop film. The group vocal starts out with “Doin’ all that I can for you,” followed by a line that means a great deal as an LA resident where we’re constantly working and grinding to create our ideal way of life: “Too busy earnin’ / Can’t get enough.”
Jungle continues with what I think is the standout track, “Time.” It’s one of the fastest songs on the album and bounces in a way that will not allow you to sit still. It grooves heavy and has a catchy chorus that will stick in your head without remorse for a solid week.
What I really like about this album and band is their knack for combining the simple and the complex. This goes for both their music and videos. The production on Jungle is beyond clean and clear; it has layers that go deeper than you realize on the first few listens. From the gentle rattle of glass bottles to the subtle electronic buzzing and beeps, those sneaky sounds have had me coming back to listen to this album on a daily basis since I first got my hands on it.
Jungle’s incredible art direction also complements the album perfectly. The album artwork and videos reflect this combination of simplicity and complexity with ease and brilliance. The cover is just a plain black background with a dirty gold border and lettering of the group’s name. It takes into account their depth as artists and then shrugs it off with a plain design.
Each video continues this running theme by featuring amazing dance sequences done by ordinary looking people. The cast of “Busy Earnin’” could be a regular amateur dance class hired out for a video, and who knows who the two middle-aged men in “Time” are. Each video captures almost mundane behavior in a hypnotic and unforgettable fashion.
Jungle has quickly become one of my favorite acts. I predict their debut album will be getting loads of great reviews upon its release next week. I am happy to be one of the first and can’t wait to see this unique act grow.
Jungle Tour Dates:
08/02 – Chicago, IL – Lollapalooza
09/19 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre
09/20 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up Tavern
09/22 – Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
09/24 – Austin, TX – The Mohawk
09/25 – Dallas, TX – Fitzgerald’s
09/26 – New Orleans, LA – Republic
09/27 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
09/28 – Nashville, TN – Exit In
09/30 – Washington D.C. – Black Cat
10/01 – Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw
10/02 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
10/03 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
10/04 – Montreal, QC – Le Belmont
10/06 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall
10/07 – Pontiac, MI – Crofoot Ballroom
10/08 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Music Hall
10/09 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
10/11 – Mexico City – Corona Capital Music Festival
10/14 – Vancouver, BC – The Imperial
10/14 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox
10/15 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
10/18 – San Francisco, CA – Treasure Island Music Festival
For more info: