Jungle's Loving in Stereo: What You Need To Know
Electronic duo Jungle were quick to make waves when they emerged at the tail end of 2013 with a handful of funky tunes and some eye-catching videos, earning a Mercury Prize nomination for their self-titled debut album on its release the following year and generating no small amount of music industry buzz.
Initially the pair’s identities were shrouded in mystery, never appearing in their own videos and crediting themselves only as ‘J’ and ‘T’ – even their live shows saw them keeping a low profile, mingling onstage with a seven-piece band. By the time of their second album Jungle For Ever, though, Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson had begun to step out of the shadows, explaining in a Time Out interview that their anonymity was never meant to be a gimmick: “Everyone automatically assumes that you’re an exhibitionist if you’re a musician. We didn’t want people to think: Why are they showing off? It was weird, but we didn’t really feel comfortable with it all for a long time.”
Despite their reluctance to claim the limelight, their second album saw them score some big dancefloor hits – particularly in America, where the duo has seen several of the more recent tracks climb in the U.S. dance charts.
This week Jungle return with their third studio album, Loving in Stereo, which makes its way into stores on Friday August 13. Here’s everything you need to know…
A little background…
News of the band’s third full-length offering came back in March, along with the unveiling of the album’s lead single ‘Keep Moving’, which premiered on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show Hottest Record in the World. The new album is also the first to be released on the band’s on Caiola Records imprint, having released both their previous albums on XL Recordings – home to the likes of Adele, Jack White and King Krule.
Who’s producing it?
As ever, McFarland and Lloyd-Watson are handling all the production themselves.
Any special guests?
For the first time on a Jungle album, there are two guest features – French-American rapper Bas appears on ‘Romeo’ and rising Tamil-Swiss R&B singer Priya Ragu adds vocals to ‘Goodbye My Love’.
What does it sound like?
Jungle seem to have had their particular brand of slick, funk-infused dance music nailed from early on and the new album retains that signature sound, but on first listen it does feel more upbeat than the sometimes subdued and moody Jungle For Ever.
There’s a real party vibe to tracks like ‘Keep Moving’ and ‘All of the Time’, and that upbeat feel is still present even on some of the slower tracks like the summery Bas feature ‘Romeo’.
Does it deliver?
In some ways it feels like Jungle suffered a little bit from the hype surrounding their initial arrival, but they’ve continued to produce solid and soulful material since the beginning and the new album sees them refining and tweaking their sound to incorporate a broader range of influences this time around. Not only that, but on Loving in Stereo they sound like they’re enjoying themselves more than ever, and that really rubs off on the listener. We dare you not to enjoy it.
Loving in Stereo is available in hmv stores from Friday August 13 - you can also find it here in our online store.