Concert preview: U.K. synth collective Jungle brings the heat on its simmering debut
The London synth collective, anchored by childhood friends Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson, pledges to "bring the heat" on the opening cut off its self-titled debut. Rather than reaching a full-on boil, however, much of the music on Jungle tends to hold at a low simmer, the musicians constructing a steamy, seductive soundscape that incorporates elements of synth-pop, disco and '70s R&B.
Jungle first emerged in the summer of 2013 cloaked in an anonymity most internet commenters would admire. Rather than maintaining a sense of Batman-like secrecy, McFarland and Lloyd-Watson, initially billed only as T and J, stepped fully into the spotlight for subsequent live performances. Fittingly, everything about the band appeared to grow in scope after the pair ditched these single-letter monikers, including the actual size of the group (Jungle now performs as a sprawling seven-piece) and the heft of its sound, which has a far meatier presence in concert than its sometimes-precious recordings.
That's not to say the band's recorded output is without its charms (the full-length did land the group on the shortlist for the Mercury Prize, after all), and songs like "Platoon" and "Accelerate" find the musicians working up a dreamy, danceable lather that suggests they've got some canned heat in their heels.
Moxy Martinez opens the show.
Photo courtesy of the artist
Newport Music Hall
7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15
1722 N. High St., Campus