This is my article fifty on this beautiful site called Where The Music Meets. Between the Portuguese and the English house, a lot of words have been written since January 2021. I've known about the project for about four years, through a great friend, who introduced me to many other wonderful people whom I can call, today, family. I was a fan from the very first moment. I started to get to know new bands - and saw quite a few grow. They challenged me. To write an article every week, called New Week New Album. Since I love writing, it was an easy opportunity to accept. And every week, between Monday and Tuesday, it's here, in this special corner. I had the opportunity to talk to emerging bands and my favourites. I've also talked about veterans because there's room for them too in this true house of music. I want to thank you all for welcoming me so well. I love you all, from the bottom of my heart. Now, are you ready for some new music? 😊
Ah, summer. That incredible phase of our lives where the days seem endless, smiles hang a hundred in the air, we have good weather, beach, bars, food. In short, happiness in every corner of the city.
Here in Lisbon, we have the natural habit of taking one of the most beautiful paths of the Estoril Line. It’s called Avenida Marginal, it starts very close to Algés, winking at one of the most mythical festivals in Europe, NOS Alive. It ends in the beautiful bay of Cascais, and takes about forty minutes to cover by car, on a sightseeing tour.
And that’s what we did during the weekend. The weather demanded exactly that: friends, good music, a breathtaking view, ending at Casa da Guia, in Cascais, in a very well located restaurant, which made our stomachs even tighter.
The route called for great music, and that’s what we set to spin. One of my favourite bands is back, three years after their last album. From London to the world, stay with the already iconic Jungle and their latest work.
Loving in Stereo
It’s become an habitué by now, but I’ve known Jungle since 2014. The first encounter? FIFA 15, of course. It’s something we should always congratulate: the staff who choose the bands for the video game soundtrack are always on top of things. And at the time, they got it right once again. They presented us with Busy Earnin’, from the band’s first album. It was impossible to put your foot down while listening to this song, so much so that it was inevitable to take more time on the load menu just to listen to it. From that moment to the record, it was a small step. And suddenly we have The Heat, Time or Julia playing on a loop on our favourite jukebox. It’s not just dance/electronic music. It’s pop, rock, a bit of RnB. It’s as far as your imagination takes you.
Four years later, we have For Ever, the second album. If the first was amazing, the second is twice as amazing. They have nurtured the original form with even more will, genius and maturity. The result? Hits like Smile, Heavy, California or Happy Man.
The band was founded in 2013 by music producers Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland. They are currently joined on stage by George Day, Geo Jordan, Lydia Kitto, Jordan “PHANTOMjjjjjj” and Andreya Triana.
We don’t want to fail to mention other incredible artists who have given soul, over the last few years, to the live version of the ensemble. I’m talking about Andro Cowperthwaite, Fraser MacColl, Rudi Salmon, Dominic Whalley, Nat Zangi.
They have British roots – and artistic touches that run through multiple quarters of the industry. We feel a bit of Basement Jaxx, Daft Punk, Death in Vegas, Digitalism, Diplo, Disclosure, Fatboy Slim, Gorillaz, Kraftwerk, The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy. The best thing about it all? They’ve taken everything they’ve heard and created their own style: irreverence, no doubt, is not lacking.
In recent years, we’ve seen this range of creatives around Portugal, at NOS Alive, Primavera Sound, Paredes de Coura, Super Bock em Stock, in a concert where the sound failed several times but the band kept going, at the always incredible Coliseu dos Recreios and, as a last stop, Super Bock Super Rock, minutes before The 1975 and Lana del Rey. The shows? Always extraordinary, with an immense desire to want to repeat them every day, all the time.
We pass by Algés, and it is here that we hear “Dry Your Tears” loud and clear. Almost like an angelical introduction, we have the perfect instrumental that characterizes in an exquisite way the development of the band’s career. A classic entourage, while we listen to Dry Your Tears in the background.
In sublime fashion, with the potential to be the best musical transition ever made, we move at a fast pace to “Keep Moving“, the first single from this album, which has a rhythm so frenetic that we use it daily in our workouts. This is Jungle in the most powerful, rhythmic way there is.
We’re making our way up the Marginal. We’re passing Jamor at the moment. And it’s to the sound of “All Of The Time” that we pass through this wonderful land. In a danceable tone, RnB and dream-rock, there’s no way of not clapping and following the fun rhythm that assails the music. It’s fresh and irreverent.
With Bas accompanying the vocal cords, we have the fourth theme “Romeo“. For those who needed a song for these hot times, look no further: the music is so extraordinary that we can’t stop listening to it. There is no way to remain indifferent to so much talent together.
We arrive at my hometown, Paço de Arcos. And it’s there that we review the song “Lifting You“. Calmer and of introspection, it’s a beautiful song that we feel is a passage.
“Bonnie Hill“, the sixth song on the album, has a chorus of the most Jungle. The voice that accompanies the song is extremely beautiful – and makes you want to embrace it, wherever you are.
Halfway through the journey, we arrive in Carcavelos, already in Cascais County. The heat heats up, and the theme couldn’t be better for the time: “Fire“. With a bass and drums that will make any fan go wild, we feel like we’re in an American film, where a chase is inevitable. It’s different, and a new path that promises for the band’s future.
We arrived at the second single of the album, “Talk About It“. With a beat that reminds us of the crazy ’90s, we feel like we have a jukebox on our back and lots and lots of style. The way it’s all laid out is divine, with a chorus that stays in our heads in symbiosis with our thoughts. And with this, we shake our feet, while we accelerate the car.
Passing near the beautiful area of São Pedro do Estoril, it’s time to have “No Rules” at the wheel. And following the pace set by the Londoners… we slow down, to keep up with the view and the people around us. Tchin tchin at sight?
We’ve arrived at the Estoril coast. Here, in the late 1960s, the film “On Her Majesty’s Service” by the world’s most famous spy, James Bond, was filmed at the Hotel Palácio. 52 years later, we have the song “What D’You Know About Me”? filling the atmosphere all around. And so well that it fits in with this milieu: because of James, we only know Bond – and of Jungle, exquisite works around the music industry. And this one is no exception, two minutes and forty-nine of pure musical gratification.
From Estoril to Cascais it’s a short hop, and, out of nowhere, “Just Fly, Don’t Worry” plays. More relaxed and calm. The musicians also need to rest a bit, they can’t always be pumping away, right? The reality is that even if they lower the rhythm, the will for more and better is always there, with a way of producing music that is a landmark of the English band.
We add the eloquent Priya Ragu to the dance, and we are already close to our final destination: we arrived in Cascais, and the song “Goodbye My Love” starts playing. We pass by the Marechal Carmona Park, known for hosting the EDP Cool Jazz festival in recent years. And everything seems to have been thought through to detail: because Ragu has an extremely Cool voice, transforming the boys of electronica into a true Jazz force. We confess: we would love to see the band play with the artist, this song, in this beautiful venue.
We parked our car. We arrived at Guia. The final stop promises to fill our bellies. Until there, three minutes and forty-one on foot. “Can’t Stop The Stars” is the motto for this final passage. And the music smells like it: that music of the credits of an extraordinary film that we have just seen, where we do not want to leave the cinema room. We clap our hands, smile incessantly – and follow the rhythm: of summer, peace and happiness.
It could have been in Mono, but Jungle gave it to us in Stereo. And the reality is that quality music deserves to be heard loud and clear. The album is extraordinary, from one end to the other. We decided to go back and listen to it again. While the Lisbon heat warms our bodies, Loving in Stereo is definitely refreshing the soul. One of the best albums of the year and a WtMM recommendation.