It seems strange to hear someone from Australia talk about escaping winter. Winter in Australia is downright balmy by Canadian standards. There’s no snow and the temperature stays above freezing in the vast majority of the country.
For the ladies of Jungal, the Australian winter is the perfect time to come tour British Columbia; this marks the third consecutive summer they’ve flown across the Pacific to enjoy “Beautiful British Columbia.”
“We sort of got ourselves addicted to it,” said Jessie Jungalwalla It’s winter in Australia and it’s a really awesome excuse to come over and enjoy summer and have some touring and escape our winter for a bit. It’s been wonderful.
I spoke to Jessie the morning after they played the Summer Street Festival in Grizzly Plaza as a last minute replacement for another band. They were on their way to the Arts on the Fly festival in Horsefly, B.C., before coming back to Revelstoke for a show at the Last Drop this Thursday, July 19.
Jungal consists of sisters Jessie and Leisha Jungalwalla, and Victoria Beard – “the other sister, we call her,” said Jessie.
Leisha plays guitar, Jessie plays drums and Victoria is on bass; all three sing.
Jessie said she and her sister have been playing music together “since as long as I can remember.” Jungal has been playing together for a decade, she said, but only started playing shows in 2007.
The band released its first full album in July 2012, an indie-roots recording titled This Crooked Track. The album received some attention in the Australian media.
One reviewer wrote: “Jungal has the heart of John Butler, the soul of Amy Winehouse, and the power of Ani DiFranco.”
I asked Jessie how she felt about those comparisons. “They’re kind of our idols, so it’s great,” she replied.
Jungal came to Canada for the first time in 2010 to do a cross-country tour with Faye Blais. They returned last year to tour B.C. and Alberta and are back once more. Jessie said they have considered moving to B.C.
One thing notable about Jungal is the transition they’ve made in recent years from the indie-roots style of their debut album to the hard rocking show that is evident in live videos on YouTube.
“We did start off with a much folkier, quieter sound,” said Jessie. “I guess since we recorded our album the songs we’re written have moved into a much louder, rockier style and it reflects in our live shows as well.
“We don’t actually listen to a whole heap of rock music,” she added. “We’re not huge rock music fans but it really seems to be what we’re writing lately and its really enjoyable to play live. We love the energy that it brings. It’s this funny progression we’ve found ourselves in. Sometimes you can’t help what comes out when you’re writing.”
Jungal recorded a live show just before leaving on tour and is selling the album on tour. “We listened back to it and it’s probably the tightest we ever heard ourselves play,” said Jessie.
Jungal plays at the Last Drop on Thursday, July 19, at 9 p.m.