Following the success of their debut album, UK electronic project JUNGLE have performed on five different continents, headlining shows from Sydney to Moscow, and winning new fans over at festivals such as Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza. Their Mercury Prize-nominated, Gold-certified debut and 2018’s follow-up ‘For Ever’ both entered the UK Top 10. Those two records have since amassed 750,000 equivalent album sales and close to a billion streams. But Tom McFarland tells Montreal Rocks that on their third album, Loving In Stereo, the duo feels they have taken things up a notch.
“This record was definitely born from a place of extreme confidence and a desire to make a record that felt energetic and uplifting because that was sort of how we were feeling in our lives. 2018, 2019, were years where we were falling in love, both of us, both in like really happy relationships now, moving houses, like the excitement of that, you know. And yeah, the record, I think just has that imbued deep within it. The first record was kind of like, not necessarily self-conscious, but like quite timid, because we were unsure of ourselves. You’re just putting anything down and sort of having out a blind belief that it’s going to be okay. And fun.
And then our second record was over-thought a little bit. I think we decided that it should be about us as, as people. We were both going through breakups, we’d had a lot of very unexpected success from that first record. And so I think naturally as people we were like, do we like stick or twist? But this record is like, I think we finally kind of got back to understanding that Jungle isn’t about Josh and Tom. Jungle was Jungle. And we’re just the people steering the ship, we’re not the ship itself. The ship is a much bigger beast than any one individual.”
As Loving In Stereo is an album that embodies a sense of social liberation, it’s fitting that Jungle are experiencing something similar. Lifelong friends Josh & Tom are embracing the newfound freedom of launching their own label for the first time, a decision that has initiated a creative rebirth. They’ve ditched the external influences, put commercial considerations on the backburner and avoided second-guessing what people expect from them. Instead, they’ve taken their music back to their roots, to a time when they could make whatever music they liked without overthinking it. The album’s themes exude positivity: new beginnings, new love and fighting back against the odds.
As Tom explains, “I guess ultimately this feels like the record we were trying to make from day one, but we’re older, wiser, a little bit more skilled in the studio, we’ve got the confidence to put big sessions with a string ensemble so that way we can really start to get what we’re hearing in our heads onto the page properly. I think we’ve spent a lot of time not necessarily being able to hit that like vision because of lack of skill or lack of confidence. But I think we’re just at a point now where we’re just super confident, super excited about the music we’re making. We’re not overthinking things.”
In October 2021, JUNGLE return to Montreal to play two shows at MTelus. How will these shows differ from what fans have seen before?
“There’s a company of musicians coming out with us. I think visually it’s going to be quite different to what you’ve seen before. It’s going to be really fun and really exciting and I think just reflective of the record. II think it’s going to feel like we’ve finally kind of got to a place in terms of how the live show looks, which is what we were always trying to get to in a way, but probably didn’t have the means, venue size or the technology or the creative direction to actually achieve that and visualize that properly yet. So I think we’re in a really good place. It’s exciting so far that all the drawings and stuff coming out of the lighting designer’s office is looking pretty special.”
Watch the full interview with Tom below:
You can buy tickets for the MTelus shows HERE
Loving In Stereo is out today via AWALShare this :