The Naarm/Melbourne garage pop trio Jungle Breed are back today with the off-kilter jangly-tinged tune "Livin' Lux," the band's first new song in three years. To celebrate the band's return, we caught up with guitarist-vocalist Lincoln Healy to dive deeper into the new cut, the making of its accompnaying music video, and signing to Blossom Rot Records.
It's been three years since we last heard from the Naarm/Melbourne garage pop trio Jungle Breed. Made up of guitarist-vocalist Lincoln Healy, drummer-vocalist Isabella Orsini and bassist Angela Kinna, a lot has happened for each member over the past couple of years, particularly with their other musical projects like Property, Pinch Points, and Rhysics. However today, the trio are back with the new single "Livin' Lux," a wonky offbeat pop twist that's loaded with a sweeping hook-filled melody and passionate dual vocals that are in a similar vein of early Flying Nun, Rough Trade, and K Records releases. With its blossoming, jangly-tinged guitar lines, heartfelt lyrics, and propulsive rhythmic groove, the single harmoniously fuels and binds itself around the trio's unassuming pop smarts and wide-eyed enthusiasm. The new single comes with an accompanying music video that's full of energy and also the announcement of the trio signing to Blossom Rot Records, a Melbourne/Sydney label started by Nathalie Pavlovic of the Dianas and Sophie McComish of Body Type. To celebrate the trio's return, we caught up with Healy to dive deeper into the new single, the making of its music video, and signing to Blossom Rot Records.
Paperface Zine: So first tell me what brought you three together to form Jungle Breed? I understand you bonded over the desire of making wonky, off-kilter pop music!
Lincoln Healy: In hindsight I suppose that is the case. Issy and I formed Jungle Breed in high school, at that time the music we were into and making was definitely not the popular music at our suburban hellscape, but it was reminiscent of Australian garage punk like Dum Punts and Lunatics on Pogosticks. Mostly we began fooling around with Sonic Youth and Pixies wannabe tracks.
PZ: What has the journey been like so far playing in Jungle Breed? I know you've all been busy with your other bands, but how have you grown musically together since forming in 2017?
LH: Our project has always been close knit. Starting out very naïve and just going with the flow of whatever felt right, mostly by meeting our community, making new friendships, starting new bands, and playing more shows, but the fact that Jungle Breed was the first project of any kind for all of us has always meant we've been able to come back to it with new and old tricks and adapt to make the most authentic version of whatever we blueprint.
PZ: Your new single "Livin' Lux" is Jungle Breed's first new music since 2020's debut LP Lennox. What was it like putting this track together and what did you envision when composing it?
LH: For me this track came together very quickly, It's one of the few that were written the fortnight before we did a bunch of recordings, we often write very collaboratively, but I guess this track was a moment where I needed to say something and I knew how to say it. The time constraint and the urge to express a point that threaded many of the our other ideas together was what I was heading towards. So after a few hours with a guitar, drum machine, and FL studio I had spewed up the entire foundation and lyrics, bar the chorus, that came together after we workshopped it as a group the day before recording and was the final piece that united the song. In February 2022, as part of a three day stint at Daniel Oke's family home in Footscray. Dan is known under the project Jarrow and was one of the first people we met in the music scene. He really pulled out all the stops and was a really great friend to work with. We tracked our three instruments live and overdubbed later, I brought round whatever soundproofing I have collected from worksites over the years, but the wall of novels and exercise books at the Oke household was probably the best batt. Then we got Bonnie Knight on board to mix who really came through and did their thing. We are so appreciative of the people that worked on this and we can't wait to show some more music.
PZ: In the press release, you said the new single is about "being stripped of all monetary value, navigating the reactions of that process of loss, and ultimately choosing to put value or passion into the aspects of life that feel the most rewarding." Can you dive further into that and tell us exactly what you were inspired by when writing it? I read that you're all big SACW and Courtney Barnett fans so the themes explored here certainly make sense!
LH: I guess I was feeling bummed about being duped into this thing called life. My workplace was hostile, my financial situation was dire, and I had all my tools stolen. One day my friend Dainty and I were driving down to a beach and they shoved a cassette of the Jisoe documentary into the stereo. I had seen it in my teens, but listening to it on cassette just made the whole experience so lively to me (for the uninitiated, go ahead and peep it now on YouTube). I've also always been a massive Cramps fan, seeing Kid Congo Powers in 2018 coincided with realizing I was queer and that all of the toxic bullshit I was dealing with on worksites was kicking me down and holding me back. Poison Ivy and Lux Interior hold a passion for life that is unmatched, and I wanted to put all of these feelings into an homage of sorts, while also recognizing that the reasons I was down bad were because of other people, and I'm choosing to live like Lux and Ivy despite the world's bullshit. We live in Naarm and I love these streets and its rock 'n' roll, nothing's gonna take that away from me! And yeah, Craig Dermody and Courtney Barnett are the GOATS and if anyone knows how to live Lux, it's them!
PZ: The single is also paired with a fun video! What was the vision when making that and how did it go?
LH: Angie and I were living together throughout the Covid lockdowns and most of the footage is made from then and when we played a show last October and fortunately Billiam grabbed the camera. I realized when I got the footage back that the camera was broke, but it made for a great lo-fi music video! My film partner (and the Lux to my Ivy) Evie Vlah, filmed Issy and I at the Curtin to round out the clip, which was cool because the venue was at risk of closing its doors, but was fortunately saved at the last minute.
PZ: How did you get in contact with Nat and Sophie over at Blossom Rot Records? What attracted you to the label and what do you admire about the work they've done so far?
LH: An old friend of ours Ella put Issy and I on to Nat's band the Dianas years ago, they are so good, seriously, they play their instruments in such a way that it sounds like a constant arpeggiated synth sequencer, but it's just a three piece! we're also suckers for three pieces [laughs]. We saw Sophie's band Body Type tour with Pond one year and they are just so effortlessly cool. When it came to looking at a label, we really wanted to go with someone outside of our immediate circle, to meet and collaborate with new people, we were really impressed with the Bad Bangs release from 2021, and we fell in love with artists like Tired Girl and their pop electronica sounds. I guess somewhere between these sounds and being such fans of all of the label's music we could hear a place for this record, and as soon as we all met it was on.
PZ: Aside from the new single and upcoming album, what else is on the horizon for you three? Even within the Jungle Breed expanded universe? Also do you got any shows or touring plans?
LH: Expanded universe wise, Pinch Points have just churned out a reissue of their first release Mechanical Injury, which is cool to revisit because a lot changed for everyone in the band when that came out and this is all ahead of an upcoming Europe tour for them. Property has a couple of tracks out and we are in the process of recording more music after a brief tour last year. And Rhysics is sitting on the greatest bedroom pop gem this world has ever seen. Evie Vlah and I did his latest music video which you can check out called "Together Now." As for us, I think we are really looking forward to being together again to be honest! Angie has been overseas in Spain for the past nine months and is on their way back soon. As I said we are a close knit group and I'm looking forward to playing these songs together, and for everyone else. We have a show on July 10th at the Northcote Social Club and then July 15th at the Gem bar, with plans to tour the East Coast in September. If you're local come on down, dance, and come say hey :).