AIR Award-winners and Triple J darlings The Jungle Giants are about to release their vivacious fourth studio album, which injects dance-pop with sophistication and intrigue. We put some questions to frontman Sam Hales, about the excellent Love Signs.
The album’s coming out on some extremely cute neon vinyl (pink, green, yellow and orange). Are you a vinyl-head yourself? If so, what are your most cherished LPs?
Yesss, I’ve always loved collecting vinyl. My most cherished is probably a copy of A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory (1991). That album really had an effect on me. Second fave would be Bon Iver, Bon Iver (2011). It’s too pretty to not have on vinyl.
The In Her Eyes video is obviously a consummate work of art. One YouTuber commented on the clip: “I can’t help but watch this and think of it as Being John Malkovich starring Bill Burr.” Firstly, how delighted or offended are you by this remark?
Haha, I love everything about that comment. First off, I love that movie. And second, Bill Burr is an absolute inspiration. It’s crazy how one guy can be so angry at the world but also so full of love. Did the idea for this video come out of a lockdown-related appreciation for technology’s capabilities, leading to a deepfake fascination? It actually came out of an idea of really loving yourself, maybe a little bit too much. It also helped that Melbourne was under some strict COVID rules about the number of people in a house, so my director and I got this idea together with minimal crew in mind. We were so happy when it all worked out the way it did!
You’ve used some fantastic synth sounds across the album, right from the squidgy melody in the opening (title) track, to the atmospheric runs in Heartless and pom-pom basslines in several tracks. Did you give yourself time limits when playing around with these kinds of sounds?
To be honest I’m really slow and impatient with synths. I often get onto them through recommendations from friends, and then never deviate too much from presets. My brain gets tangled if I try go too deep.
There’s a very oldschool looking synth in the Sending Me Ur Loving clip, which [bandmate] Cesira shows one of the actors how to play. Is this a keyboard you actually used during recording?
Haha, yeah, that’s the Moog Subsequent. I didn’t use it too much on the record but it’s been a staple in my studio for a while, and I’ve really been enjoying it lately. We used it in the clip because of all the shiny lights and knobs. My #1 main synth from Love Signs is the Korg Minilogue. Love that li’l thing.
Love Signs by The Jungle Giants is out July 23 via Amplifire Music.
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