Nearly five years ago, we were introduced to the magical musical mystery of British outfit Jungle. Their self-titled debut had a futuristic throwback sound that was hard to ignore — just ask peers like Dornik and Lianne La Havas, who tapped them to add their magic to remixes of their singles. While we liked that they were lending their sound to others, we were starting to wonder if we'd be hearing anything from the actual group in the near future. Well, we wonder no more, as they've gone and dropped not one but two new singles — "Happy Man" and "House In LA" — and their accompanying videos.
While the mystery of Jungle has been shed (the heart of the group is production duo Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland, who have added five additional members over the years to make the group a septet), their sound and visual aesthetic remain pretty consistent. With "Happy Man," they continue their commentary on the plight of the current generation as they struggle to reach the hallmarks that were once easily attainable by the Baby Boomers. The signature layered vocals and hauntingly soulful sound fit right in the wheelhouse that first introduced them to us in 2013. They switch things up for "House In LA," this time opting for a more ballad-like texture steeped in a bit of psychedelia that features walls of strings and an ebbing and flowing rhythm as they reminisce on their time living in the sun-drenched Cali city.
The videos for each track further juxtapose the differences between the two songs. The clip for "Happy Man" feels cozy as the seven-member crew takes us into what could be considered a microcosm of their world. What looks like it could be a recording studio/lounge/auto shop is where we find them as they all flit about performing different actions, from recording to staring intently and an old-school television to laying down the track. It's an aesthetic that matches some of their previous visuals, but perhaps with a more subdued feel. Speaking of subdued, the clip for "House In LA" is languid and relaxing. We watch the band in the hills of Los Angeles basking in the California sunlight while lounging around a gorgeously constructed home. The seemingly joyous feel is undercut by the sense of searching for something that creates an interesting tension between the video and the song itself.
In addition to all the newness, including news that a sophomore set is on the way, the band is also embarking on a massive outing which kicked off in Europe this week and is scheduled to arrive Stateside next month before giving Europe the business once again before the summer is over. For info and tickets, check out Jungle's website — but not before you get into the clips for "Happy Man" and "House In LA" below.