So, Jungle then. Pretty much the breakout success of the last 12 months, conquering both the UK and the States with pure future-soul / sex-funk on the likes of Busy Earnin‘ and Time (which should basically be the foundations for any dance-offs henceforth). Can the artistes known as T and J sustain that effortless cool for the breadth of an album?
Short answer? Hell yes. It’s immediately apparent after The Heat and Accelerate take form that rhythm is second nature to these boys, as they craft that distinct falsetto harmony so meticulously around a variety of beats and styles. If they aim for bombast on Platoon, they can dial it down for the late-night R&B of Drops.
That’s not all there is to love on Jungle, though: Julia sounds like it could be the perfect theme for a 70s blaxploitation flick (not enough of that these days, if you ask us), while Lemonade Lake veers them into more modern electronica territory. They pull of both guises with serious aplomb.
Do the songs at times feel like a variation on a single theme? A little bit, yes, but in the face of the Pharrell and similar disappointments of recent months, it’s refreshing to see a couple of unknowns taking a DIY approach to old-school soul and polishing the hell out of it. And for all its minor flaws, Jungle present their debut album with enough quirks and flair to give us what we all secretly want: a soundtrack that can make us saunter like an absolute G, even if it’s just down the street to the local off-licence.