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The Five Most Promising Bands From Latitude 2014 - Part 1

In amongst the sea of new bands at Latitude festival, Jess Dawson picks the five most exciting new bands.


 artist:Jungle, stage::BBC 6 Music

Under Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, Jungle crept into the 2014 music scene like a bunch of undercover spies, revealing no part of their identity, doing hardly any interviews and playing gigs in complete darkness as if to hide a huge precarious secret. But, out of the rabbit hole they crept up and have revealed themselves as Londoners Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland, childhood friends from London.

Forming just over a year ago, the pair constructed a band of seven members who all coagulated together to create a strange, experimental sound of funky dance with a vein of soul running through the core. In this solid seven piece they quickly built a spring from which they propelled pretty quickly.

The audience at Latitude reflected the excitement that the paradoxical Jungle has formed so expertly – the crowd swayed violently like a shaking strawberry jelly and created large mosh pits at every given moment, thrashing into each other like an excited bunch of molecules reacting to pressured heat.

The veil of mystery seems to have worked to effect: everyone danced in a hypnotic craze, absorbing the four layered vocals of lead singers Josh and Tom and two backing singers thirstily. Coke bottles filled with water were tied up to a horizontal rod by the drummer and were occasionally hit in a line, bongos adding yet another dimension to the unique, dense sound and a set of keyboards make for a heavy set of melodies and chords intertwined just as well as Tom and Josh’s vocals seamlessly fit together. When ‘Busy Earnin’ comes on at the end, the superiority of originality, skill and presence is cemented: the crowd jamming in unison, reflecting the energy on stage until it’s over and the concept of time un-welcomely returned.



Head down, eyes glued intently to the floor, Sohn walked to the centre in the stage in an air of mystery exhibiting no colour other than a mass of inky black and a ginger beard – a big, baggy hood pulled up over a black beanie, a black tee-shirt and black jeans concealed all but a small section of his face – Sohn is an enigma, an enigma which creates a strange uncertainty amongst the well-attended crowd at the 6 Music stage.

Perched on a chair by a hefty Synth deck, just two others join him: also sitting in front of huge synthesizers but one also holding a bass guitar and the other with a keyboard. As the lights flashed in a crazed frenzy and the music began, it became clear that there was something incredibly intense about the Austria based singer/songwriter/producer Sohn and something very dark.

Each song was melancholic, Sohn’s eyes transfixed on the large deck in front of him as he fiddled with multiple buttons and dials and switches. Spiraling his vocals up to incredible heights while adjusting every little sound, his background as a producer (he’s worked for Kwabs, Banks and Lana Del Ray) is blatant. Continuously pointing to the sound engineers at the side of the stage to adjust the noise levels, it’s clear that he’s a perfectionist, committed to making sure every element of his tracks was faultless.

There was a time when, about 15 minutes in, the music began to become a continuous stream of strained sadness, the sounds rolling into an unremitting caliber of depressing electronic music – but then Sohn kicks in with his best track ‘Artifice’, igniting the crowd and blinding them with dazzling lights. He commanded the decks, mesmerizing the crowd in some strange daze, possessed by the ominous sounds. It was only when the lights switched off and the music stopped that you were brought back to reality, a surprisingly huge juxtaposition.
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