A decade into their career, London duo Jungle is determined to make up for lost time. Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland felt that they’d taken too long to follow up 2014’s self-titled Mercury-nominated debut, with second album For Ever arriving four years later. It injected their third album Loving in Stereo, released in 2021, with a creative restlessness, and that thrilling urgency continues on Volcano. “We’d just come off the road and went straight back into the studio,” Lloyd-Watson tells Apple Music. “We got the record done between November and December 2022 and wrapped it up in January, which is one of the quickest turnarounds we’ve done. You can feel that in the music.” It’s a record that both sharpens the pair’s melodic hooks and hones their nu-disco, soulful pop swagger—pushing them further away from being a band and deeper into how they’ve always imagined themselves. “It’s going back to what is essentially a production duo,” says Lloyd-Watson. “It’s a collective—we wouldn’t be where we are without the dancers, without the incredible vocalists, without all the people that come together to make the full thing. But ultimately, it feels like bits of it are heading much more towards something like Justice or Daft Punk, more dance-y.” Exploring themes of love found, loss, heartbreak, and rediscovery, Volcano is also a record that insists you move to its rhythm. This is Jungle at their most vibrant and infectious. Lloyd-Watson talks us through it, track by track. “Us Against the World” “This starts in almost chaotic fashion. I think we like that because it bamboozles you a little bit and you can’t really work out what’s going on. It’s frantic and a bit crazy and then it settles in and takes a while to find some solid harmony that Jungle would be known for. We’re embedded deep in harmony. It’s like a breakbeat track, a little bit on edge. I suppose the track can be taken as, ‘We’re about to climb this mountain together, this volcano.’ It’s a setting-off track. It’s us against the world.” “Holding On” “This is one that wasn’t necessarily made for Jungle, we made it with [Dublin DJ/producer] Krystal Klear and [Essex singer-songwriter/producer] Lydia Kitto. It has a much more clubby touch to it, it’s got heavier kicks and it’s got 909 hats, which we’ve never really used. It continues that more aggy side of what we wanted to do, we wanted to have a bit more of the disco-punk element to it, à la [the South Bronx’s early-’80s punk-funk pioneers] ESG, something that was anti the soft, midtempo Jungle that we know and love. It’s a bit strobe-y and then eventually it releases to this refrain, which sounds like some old soul sample that we made. I suppose it’s the first time you’re like, ‘OK, this is a Jungle record. I know what’s going on here.’” “Candle Flame” (feat. Erick the Architect) “Track three has always been the big one for us—[2014 breakthrough hit] ‘Busy Earnin’’ was track three [on their debut album]. We had this hook for a long time. It had been sitting at 104 BPM and we eventually got a bit bored of it down at that tempo and ramped it up so you get those sped-up, soul-pitched vocals. We wanted to have something that was really fun and carefree and had this atmosphere of a party. I think ‘Candle Flame’ is about the fire and the passion in early love, essentially. Erick the Architect, of Flatbush Zombies fame, jumped on it and did a verse which reminded me of a young Snoop Dogg. It had that fiery energy and just set the thing on fire really…like a candle flame!” “Dominoes” “‘Dominoes’ is another song that had this old soul vibe—it was a lot slower originally, it was down at 85 BPM. ‘Dominoes’ is a metaphor for falling in love and the cataclysmic events that happen as you adapt to being deeper and deeper in love and you change your whole life. It has a sample of the [US R&B singer] Gloria Ann Taylor song ‘Love Is a Hurtin’ Thing,’ which we took and then mixed with the vocals of our song, like this mashup thing. It’s got this cruising, The Avalanches vibe, a real summer jam. I suppose it’s the first time in the album when you get a little bit of respite and it’s not so explosive.” “I’ve Been in Love” (feat. Channel Tres) “This features Channel Tres and is from a session that we did a while back—basically before Channel Tres was even established as an artist. We wrote this over another song which was called ‘I’m Dying to Be in Your Arms,’ which you can hear in the middle of ‘I’ve Been in Love.’ We resampled the original track that he was on, which forms the middle eight. It tells the story of love past and the idea of coming out of that love.” “Back on 74” “The feeling of ‘Back on 74’ is a nostalgic one, it’s that feeling of having this place of your life where you grew up, where you had these really fond memories. 74 is a fictitious thing, but for us it’s like 74th Avenue or 74th Street or something, where, in your imagination or as a kid, you were playing out on the street. You’ve gone back to this place and it’s giving you this really nostalgic feeling but everything’s not quite the same. You’ve come out of something on ‘I’ve Been in Love’ and through ‘Back on 74,’ you have this desire to go home, back to a place that felt safe.” “You Ain’t No Celebrity” (feat. Roots Manuva) “This is probably the most raw and honest track on the record, a warning to people in your life that think they’re a bit of a princess or a bit of a diva—when they become demanding or a little bit self-righteous or a little bit expectant of certain things to fall their way. Roots Manuva was maybe relating to that feeling. He had these lyrics which were originally on another track, something we did with him way back in 2016 or something. He had these almost like nursery-rhyme, Mr Motivator-style hooks that weren’t even a verse, almost like this mantra. It explains the compromise that you have to have in a relationship with somebody, the push and pull, over easy and easy over, a constant back and forth.” “Coming Back” “This is a continuation of ‘You Ain’t No Celebrity’ but it’s a little bit more of a celebration. It takes the resentment and the anger and turns it into this more cheeky, throwaway, carnival vibe. It starts off with these shouted vocals, like, ‘I don’t miss you,’ these realizations about yourself, and the chorus goes on to say you keep coming back for more—once you’ve let go of somebody, somebody keeps wanting more from you. It explores the idea of expectation in relationships, but we end up with this almost carnival ending where everybody’s joining in, getting through it through fun.” “Don’t Play” (feat. Mood Talk) “‘Don’t Play’ is a sample from ‘Faith Is the Key,’ a really rare record by Enlightment, a Washington soul and gospel outfit. They put this record out in ’84 but then the record plant basically went under and their distributor went under, which made this record quite valuable, a holy grail for collectors. It surfaced again in 2000 and now copies are going for about £800. It had this amazing little hook in it and my cousin, who is Mood Talk, put this beat together and sampled it. We featured him on the record and we sang over the sample. ‘Don’t Play’ is, ‘Stop playing these games, I’m not bothered.’ That message can be applied at the beginning and it can be applied at the end of a relationship. There are always games on the in and the out…” “Every Night” “This is fun and guitar-based. We really wanted to make a song without a snare drum. It’s a fun song, a positive message about love, and it’s got gospel influences to some extent. It’s a bit of a party.” “PROBLEMZ” “This came out originally in 2022 and I suppose in some way, with [its double A-side] ‘GOOD TIMES,’ was the blueprint for the sound of the record. We left ‘GOOD TIMES’ off the record because it didn’t feel like it was right, it didn’t really feel like the production or the vibe was quite where this record was. But ‘PROBLEMZ’ is one of our favorite bits of music we’ve ever made and we didn’t want to leave it as some B-side. It’s got Latin American vibes and feels to it, especially in the flutes and the swing of the music, a classic disco feel. At the end, it goes to this place that’s almost like musical theater with the strings.” “Good at Breaking Hearts” “This is the first traditional ballad of the record. It’s like, ‘I’m only good at making mistakes—a bit of a juxtaposition in that you are only good at breaking hearts.’ It features [London singer-songwriter] JNR Williams and 33.3—which is mine and Lydia’s new project. JNR has an amazing voice and I’ve been working with him for two or three years, writing loads of songs with him. This is a song that we made for his album but he was like, ‘I don’t want it,’ and then as soon as it was done, he was like, ‘Oh, I wish I’d taken this!’ I said, ‘You should have trusted me, man!’ It’s a beautiful song. His voice has got touches of Nina Simone and Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder to him. He’s got an amazing voice.” “Palm Trees” “We made this out in LA originally. It was about this idea that you could escape to this place, like holiday-themed, ‘Here we come, palm trees!’ That feeling of ‘I’m just going to escape this and I want to go somewhere hot and I want to go somewhere where my troubles don’t affect me and I can leave all this stuff behind.’ It’s told through this story of a girl going to a club and taking a drug that sends her on this wild space disco trip.” “Pretty Little Thing” (feat. Bas) “This was something that got made in the same chunk of time in which ‘PROBLEMZ’ and ‘GOOD TIMES’ were made, and fans would know that it’s actually on the end of the video for ‘GOOD TIMES/PROBLEMZ’—on the credits we ran a little snippet of ‘Pretty Little Thing.’ It’s a ballad, a chance to reflect on moments and reflect on the old experience. [Queens-via-Paris rapper] Bas jumped on this and told his own story, which weirdly made sense of the whole thing anyway. It was serendipity.”

Audio Extras

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada