Jungle have returned with joyous new single ‘Keep Moving’, and announced details of their third album ‘Loving In Stereo’. Watch the video for the new track below, alongside our chat with the duo.
The band’s comeback comes on the one year anniversary of the first UK coronavirus lockdown being announced, and though the band didn’t engineer it as such. “I turned my phone off half way through last year,” the band’s J Lloyd told NME, but ‘Keep Moving’ has dropped just in time to soundtrack a summer that will hopefully see joy returning to our lives at long last.
The comeback single was one of the first tracks written for the follow-up to what would become new album ‘Loving In Stereo’.
“We had the hook and it just wouldn’t go away,” Lloyd told NME. “It was like, ‘God just leave me alone for a second!’ But it was so infectious and we just kept coming back to it.”
A 25-minute version of the track also exists in a hard-drive somewhere, which sees the pair play through the track over and over in its many guises, a version they expect to see the light of day down the road.
Jungle’s ‘Loving In Stereo’ arrives three years after second album ‘For Ever‘, and sees the duo settling comfortably into their skin. While albums one and two saw the band working within a structured template, their third effort sees them significantly expanding their horizons, and blowing the idea of what a Jungle song can be wide open.
“I really think that these are the most Jungle songs we’ve made,” Lloyd said, with bandmate Thomas McFarlane agreeing: “[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.”
The band’s evolution is shown most strikingly on ‘Truth’, which skips along with sun-soaked melodies that recall The Beach Boys. “It’s like what ‘Month of May’ was on [Arcade Fire‘s] ‘The Suburbs’,” Lloyd said as a way of comparison, likening it to the change of pace represented on the Canadian band’s fiery punk curveball. “‘Month of May’ was like, ‘Oh, this isn’t Arcade Fire? What are they doing?’” Lloyd added. “And then it slowly gets this energy to it, and it works. That song was a little bit of a trap that we wanted to put on the album. I kind of can’t wait to piss some Jungle fans off with it.”
The new album sees the pair invite guest vocalists for the first time, with Swiss-Tamil artist Priya Ragu adding vocals on ‘Goodbye My Love’ and US rapper Bas adding new textures on ‘Romeo’. “We do ask ourselves those questions,” McFarlane added regarding the prospect of wider collaboration, “‘Can we put other people’s voices on our tracks?’” The answer, when it came, was definitive: “Of course we can. We’re fucking music producers.”
‘Loving In Stereo’ also sees the duo breaking away from the rigid structures they’d employed for the creation of their first two albums. “We went into The Church studio in London,” McFarlane explained, “which for us is a big move because it’s us opening ourselves up. The pressure’s on because you’ve only got a week, and you’ve got string sections coming in, you’ve got all these parts. It’s all kind of chaotic and magical, and I think that that’s why there’s that energy to the record – everything just went up a level.”
Reflecting on 2018’s ‘For Ever’, the band described the album as a halfway point between where they’d come from on their debut and where they wanted to go in the future, all while terrified of losing the fans they’d beckoned in with early hits like ‘Time’ and ‘Busy Earnin”.
“The first [album] was like a blueprint for something,” Lloyd explained, “and then the second one was like trying to do something new but not let go of the first one too much. Then this third one is the realisation of everything that we’ve ever tried to do.”
Looking back on the “naive blindness” of their reaction to their early success, Lloyd said: “We thought, ‘We are really good.’ We thought we were making Beyoncé tracks with ‘Busy Earnin’. It’s, like, delusional. ‘Nobody can stop us’, they thought to themselves.
“At that point, we are the best band in the world to ourselves. Then with the second album, it was a case of, ‘How do we not lose everyone?’ And then this third album? I don’t think we can doubt any track on it.”
Jungle release ‘Loving In Stereo’ on August 13. Check out the tracklist below:
‘Dry Your Tears’ ‘Keep Moving’ ‘All Of The Time’ ‘Romeo’ feat Bas ‘Lifting You’ ‘Bonnie Hill’ ‘Fire’ ‘Talk About It’ ‘No Rules’ ‘Truth’ ‘What D’You Know About Me’ ‘Just Fly, Don’t Worry’ ‘Goodbye My Love’ feat Priya Ragu ‘Can’t Stop The Stars’
The band will also head out on tour later this year. Check out tour dates below.
SEPTEMBER Wednesday 1 – London, Brixton O2 Academy Thursday 2 – London, Brixton O2 Academy Friday 17 – Manchester, O2 Victoria Warehouse