In a matter of one year, the UK-based soul group Jungle has sky-rocketed into the consciousness of music fans around the world. Their self-titled album is one of the most solid releases of 2014. Riding on that one album alone, they’re now able to regularly sell out places like The Fonda in LA, and while impressive, this enthusiastic response isn’t surprising in the least. Their freshmen album is brilliant from beginning to end—showing versatility and stylistic innovation. They blend the glory days of funk, soul and disco with the electronic elements of today and the result is sexy, adventurous and undeniable.
Los Angeles has been waiting for bated breath for the triumphant return of this seven-piece live masterpiece of modern soul. That Friday night’s show at Hollywood Blvd’s Fonda Theatre has been sold-out for months. The stage was packed with every instrument you could imagine. When the band came on, they were met with wails of excitement from the packed venue. As they dropped into the first song, the audience was met with a spirited wall of sound and the wigglin’ began. Man, I love when LA lets their hair down and stops being so embarrassed by having fun.
The band is based around the core musical duo of J and T – two amazingly talented artist that have been lifelong friends. Both guys were stacked with a couple synthesizers, some trigger pads and a guitar or two. Oh yeah, and they both happen to be remarkable singers! The way they harmonize their soulful falsetto voices is on par with legends like The Bee Gee’s. Accompanying them was a guy on guitar, two dudes surrounded by drums and percussion stuffs and a pair of beautiful back-up singers (armed with shakers/tamborines). Bottom line: there was a lot happening on that stage. It could have easily gotten unbalanced or overwhelming, but the performance stayed tight and precise the entire time. And it all felt effortless.
From the subdued yet steamy “The Heat” to the swagger-filled hit “Platoon”, Jungle displayed a huge dynamic range with their performance. The loudest chorus and the softest hums – everything was woven together meticulously. For their encore, they blessed us with their blockbuster hit “Busy Earnin’”. And what a gift it was. This song has achieved anthem status in my world easily—pro tip: listen to this song first thing in the morning, getting ready for a night out, before an interview or as you walk up to the counter to retrieve your order at In N Out. #ThemeSong
I truly believe that Jungle is one of the few bands that can save the music industry (and maybe the world–we’ll see how things go). To start with, watch every single one of their music videos. These videos helped put the band on the map with their subtle attitude, simplicity of production and captivating dance routines. You can watch them all here. (Common mistake: the dancers in the video for Busy Earnin’ are not actually the band. Was very surprised when the band came on stage. My bad.) Check out the tour dates below, grab your bae and go see what the hype is all about.
Jungle US Tour Dates
September 30: Black Cat @ Washington DC
October 1: Warsaw @ Brooklyn, NY
October 2: Irving Plaza @ New York, NY
October 3: The Sinclair @ Cambridge, MA
October 4: Le Belmont @ Montreal, QC
October 6: Danforth Music Hall @ Toronto, ON
October 7: Crofoot Ballroom @ Pontiac, MI
October 8: Thalia Hall @ Chicago, IL
October 9: First Avenue @ Minneapolis, MN
October 11: Corona Capital Festival @ Mexico City, DF
October 15: The Showbox @ Seattle, WA
October 16: Wodner Ballroom @ Portland, OR
October 18: Treasure Island Music Festival @ San Francisco, CA