Josh ‘J’ Lloyd-Watson and Tom ‘T’ McFarland, two lifelong friends from Shepherd’s Bush, next door neighbours in fact, had bounced around the world, propelled by the unexpected success of an album they didn’t anticipate anyone would hear, made by a band they didn’t mean to form.
But Jungle (the band) and Jungle (the self-titled 2014 debut album) did happen, and happen in both senses of the word. ‘Platoon’, ‘Busy Earnin’’, ‘Time’, ‘The Heat’, ‘Julia’. Neo-soul classics all, the aspirational sound of London, a soundtrack of escapism. An unmistakable Jungle sound and a unique, vivid, visual Jungle world. The whole thing dreamed up by a production and multi-instrumentalist duo who never expected to leave their bedroom studios, far less become the core of a talent-filled seven-strong collective that morphed into a killer live outfit.
Then, in 2017, back in London they met up and coming producer Inflo, best known for his work with Michael Kiwanuka.“He really accelerated things,” says J. “He just brought a whole load of other soul to the record.”
Writing and production stepped up a gear. Inflo took the pair out of their home studio for the first time and into Dean Street Studios and Metropolis. But even though they were back in London, the LA afterglow / comedown persisted. As T puts it, “a lot of this record is about us falling in love – and falling out of love. The whole record is that cycle. You never know whether you’re falling in love or out of love with somebody.”
Psychedelic, kaleidoscopic, romantic, realistic. Jungle are back with the bold and brilliant second album they had to make. Slightly older, slightly wiser, slightly battered emotionally, expressing heartbreak beautifully.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. Jungle4eva.