The Jungle Giants
The Jungle Giants have come to be known as Australian indie-rock royalty, amassing awards and more than half a billion streams worldwide. They’ve been evolving since the gleaming indie-pop of their 2013 debut album Learn to Exist gave way to eclectic post-punk on 2015’s Speakerzoid and angular dance-rock on 2017’s Quiet Ferocity.
Behind the scenes, Sam Hales has increasingly written, produced and recorded all of their material. Now, with the support of lead guitarist Cesira Aitken, bassist Andrew Dooris and drummer Keelan Bijker, The Jungle Giants has morphed into Hales’ solo alternative dance-pop project. “They’ve supported me through my evolution, and they’ve given me the chance to become who I am now,” Hales says of his bandmates.
The chaotic events of last year provided the push that Hales needed to properly go it alone. The band had just completed a tour across the US, Mexico, the UK and Europe when the pandemic hit. Shortly after they returned to Australia, everything was locked down. Serendipitously, Hales had already booked studio time and planned to isolate himself to finish writing what would become The Jungle Giants’ upcoming fourth album.
Love Signs is the first album that Hales has written, recorded, performed and produced alone—only getting input at the end from co-mixer Konstantin Kersting (who co-produced Quiet Ferocity). “It’s been a really good process, really self-affirming,” Hales says. The forced solitude saw him take more creative risks like channeling Timbaland and Ashanti in his ‘90s production style and vocal falsettos.
It’s also shaping up to be The Jungle Giants’ most successful work yet. First single “Heavy Hearted” went ARIA-certified Platinum and won the fiercely competitive Queensland Music Awards 2020 “Song of the Year.” Follow-up “Sending Me Ur Loving” ranked #8 in the Triple J Hottest 100, and was praised by KCRW for its “exquisite hooks and pristine production.” “Groove-heavy” third single “In Her Eyes” was lauded by NME and also appeared in the Triple J Hottest 100.
Not that these are The Jungle Giants’ first accolades—Quiet Ferocity peaked at #11 on the ARIA charts and won AIR Awards’ “Best Independent Album or EP” and Queensland Music Awards’ “Album of the Year.” Previous singles “Bad Dream” and “On Your Way Down” were also certified Gold.
Driven by optimism, creative freedom and a desire to “go weird, go funny, and not be scared,” The Jungle Giants are producing their most exciting and popular work yet.