Published Jul 14, 2014On Tuesday (July 15), London collective Jungle will release their self-titled debut on XL Recordings. Already starting a firestorm of praise by the press in their native UK, including extensive coverage in NME along with a BBC Sound of 2014 nomination, many critics have been comparing the group's funk/techno/post-punk hybrid to such disparate acts like Disclosure, Marvin Gaye and Joy Division.
Speaking with Exclaim!, the enigmatically named J (a.k.a. Josh Lloyd-Watson) discusses the inspiration behind their debut, saying, "Our influences tend to be quite visual; we tried not to listen to a lot of music while we were recording the record. Instead we'd see places in our head and write tunes around those. Once you can get those locations into your head you can use them to inspire a feeling to take you somewhere else that's not a room in Shepherd's Bush. We made a conscious decision to not directly listen to other people's music."
Working together for over a decade before they entered the studio to record what would become their self-titled LP, J talks about how he and his musical partner T (a.k.a. Tom McFarland) found the confidence to finally enter the studio. "We finished a track on the record, a song called 'Son of a Gun.' It was that process of finishing something that gave us the confidence to go on and write more and finish more, and once we started finishing things you have that kind of belief, you believe that you can do it."
But it's not only critics who are ecstatic about Jungle's retrograde style, as two of their music videos ("The Heat," featuring rollerskating/dance duo High Rollaz, and "Platoon," starring a six-year-old breakdancing phenom) have been lauded by fans and viewed millions of times each.
"The idea of videos is to keep everything quite simple and capture the characters and emotions in the most honest light," J explains. "Our process is part of that collective, whether it's seven of us playing on stage or 12 people dancing in a music video with a little girl doing a head-spin, it's irrelevant, it's all part of the feeling, the journey."
Jungle will perform a number of dates in September and October that will have them on stages across the U.S., Mexico and Canada. The up-north portions of the trip will have them hitting venues in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
Read the rest of our interview with J here.
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