I’ve been keeping tabs on Jane N’ The Jungle for about a year now and have been looking forward to their debut record since my first JNTJ show. “Shake Me Out” was the first song that got stuck in my head, and it kicks the record off as an energetic rocker. It’s infectious as hell, and you’ll have echoes of the “ooh oohs” in your head for days after one listen.
They follow this with the powerful slow burner “Don’t Say,” which starts as a ballad and then becomes far heavier, a juggernaut anthem of empowerment—pretty intense. “Faded Stars” slows things way down, and delightfully so. This happens to be my second favorite song in their catalog. I like it best when most bands rock out, but Jane N’ The Jungle slays my soul with their Americana-tinged ballads, like this stunner.
The piano and sample intro to “Sirens” make for an interesting setup, like it might be an actual straightforward ballad, with lead singer Jordan White sounding like Tori Amos in her prime. Then it explodes into a fascinating, manic rocker evoking Heart, but with a bigger guitar assault courtesy of Brian Tuffy. It’s a song that would make for interesting video material.
My favorite JNTJ song is, and will most likely always be, “Walking Cleopatra.” It’s another slow number that really showcases their talent, featuring the lovely harmonies of bassist Leah Brooks. I get goosebumps every time they play it live, and I’m happy to report the same occurs when I hear it on record. With a fascinating confessional delivery, it’s simply a catchy, beautiful tune wrapped around poetry. The EP finishes with their hardest rocker yet, “Smoke & Dust,” which bookends it perfectly.