Jungle Evolve & Explore On Third Album ‘Loving In Stereo,’ Their Most Evocative Yet
London based Jungle’s Loving In Stereo is a euphoric summer soundtrack for the ages, one that calls back to the disco just when its revival is most needed.
The album is the product of longtime friends Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland, who quickly rose to prominence after their self titled and anonymous 2014 debut. The UK-duo captivated listeners with their unique brand of neo-soul and fiery live performances. Though they soon shed the veil of anonymity, the duo have remained true to their ideal of keeping their egos out of the way to allow for creative purity. In a move befitting that attitude, J and T decided to release the album on their newly formed label, Caiola Records, allowing them to explore and create freely.
Though the sound is still unmistakably Jungle, the duo’s fresh perspective has resulted in an album with more meaning than previous efforts. It’s a fitting development in an era in which music’s communicative power is as important as ever.
“I really think that these are the most Jungle songs we’ve made,” Jungle recently told NME. “[This album] feels like what we’ve always had in our heads. If you go back and compare it to the first record, they feel smaller and more introverted. This feels like a whole new level.”
Recorded in a home studio, as well as during sessions at London’s prestigious The Church Studios, the album is brimming with syncopated basslines, heavenly harmonies, and powerful sentiments.
Kicking off with the cinematic violin buildup of “Dry Your Tears,” the pair set out with the message of hope and reassurance, one they reinforce throughout the album. As the melodrama fades, they wind up the pitch of the violin to meet a choir of triumphant voices. As they crescendo, “Keep Moving” erupts into a catharsis of 70’s disco proportions, with a grooving bassline, screaming strings, and twinkling piano keys.
Loving in Stereo provides more depth than we’ve ever seen on a Jungle album, both sonically and lyrically. We find the duo wholeheartedly embracing their newfound freedom to explore, as they bring out faster tempos and unique arrangements while seamlessly blending genres.
Though their blissful falsetto harmonies still ring supreme, they’ve provided listeners with a little bit more vocal range this time around. Building up from lower pitches on “Lifting You” and “Bonnie Hill” grants the tracks a more dynamic and textured feel, providing even more release when they hit those high notes.
Loving In Stereo also marks a new development for Jungle: the first time that the band has collaborated with guest artists. Rapper Bas delivers slick verses atop playful vocal chops and uplifting guitar riffs on the summery “Romeo,” reminding listeners that “it’s all gon play out.” Rising R&B vocalist Priya Ragu provides an intimate touch on the soulful and nostalgic “Goodbye My Love.”
The upbeat “All Of The Time” and “Talk About It” prove to be classic Jungle earworms, two unique grooves infused with nostalgic, soulful feelings. Probably the most unexpected sound comes from “Truth,” a fast-moving punk rock tune infused with some sunshine. It’s a fun and exciting style to hear out of the band.
As the jubilant cries of “No Rules” might suggest, Jungle had a lot of fun with this album. The standout song weaves layers of psychedelic synths around an irresistible funk bassline. It’s sure to electrify their live sets, much like the rest of the album. The band take their one-of-a-kind live experience on tour across the US, UK, and Europe this coming fall. As Jungle drives the disco forward, reinvigorated with creative spirit and rearmed with a slate of energetic and soulful tracks, their dancefloor will be one you won’t want to miss.