Five years ago, Jungle were an unsigned duo that decided to release "Platoon" for free on SoundCloud. Soon after, they watched the hits climb and landed a record deal that would eventually make them one of the most ubiquitous festival bands of 2014 and 2015. Thanks in part to their hit single "Busy Earnin'," the band’s music became the soundtrack to countless commercials and video games worldwide. Not bad for only having one album under their belts. They've kept it pretty low-key since then, but they've made enough progress with their still-untitled sophomore album that they're ready to show the world what's next for Jungle's unique brand of laid-back funk and soul music.
Part of Jungle's appeal is the attention to the details. With all the small musical flourishes in their songs, Jungle couldn't be anything less than a seven-piece live band, complete with four vocalists and loads of percussion. Watching the interplay between the seven band members and how much fun they were having on stage was infectious for everyone in the room. The leading duo of Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland (colloquially known as ‘J and T’) often switched between guitars and keys while the pair of backup singers exuded an aura of cool banging away on tambourines and shakers. Songs like "Julia" and "Platoon" were given a huge jolt of energy live with bongo solos and extended outros that had everyone dancing. New songs like "Give Over" provided more of an electronic sheen that went over with the crowd just okay, but the disco and Disclosure-indebted "Half a Man" was a hit and will likely become a prime festival staple for the band. And given their ubiquity last time around, fans should get ready for a summer of Jungle once again in 2018 - not that that's a bad thing, especially if you prefer your music festivals with a bit of dancing and bongos.