Next Wave #537: Neon Jungle

An in-your-face, hyperactive girl band...
Neon Jungle - Next Wave

“Harry Styles, if you’re reading this I am single and I’m now an adult.”

Asami, who turned 18 yesterday, leans right into Clash’s dictaphone to yell her availability. Since the days of Sporty, Scary, Baby, Posh and Ginger, we’ve yet to see a Britpop girl band match the Spices in the hysteria-inducing stakes.

But while One Direction continue to break hearts and drain parents’ wallets across the globe, there’s a new girl group set for world domination. Shereen Cutkelvin, Jess Plummer, Amira McCarthy and Asami Zdrenka, namely - AKA Neon Jungle.

“Obviously, we are a manufactured girl band…” Asami begins. Had Neon Jungle been shoved together à la 1D on The X Factor, they’d have a readymade and heavily salivating fan base. But as it turns out, they were scouted individually in auditions, or stumbled upon on YouTube. They don’t have that immediate following - a topic that leads the girls to break out into an impromptu version of Drake’s ‘Started From The Bottom’.

So putting the four voices together was quite the risk, as Amira explains (“Anyone normal wouldn’t put us together!”): “Our voices are just so different,” Asami goes on to say. “Like, Shereen’s very soulful, Amira’s got that raspy thing going on and that belt voice as well, Jess has got a nice tone to her voice… and I’m just moody. It just works.”

“I’ve not had younger sisters but I feel like I do now!” Jess says, then immediately claps her hands over her mouth. “Oh my gosh, that is really cheesy!” Four different voices and four different personalities; what unites them is the feisty, ADHD energy that leaves them, quite literally, bouncing off the walls.

Their first single, ‘Trouble’, is a reflection of this - a chaotic, dance-pop jam that sees the girls ripping apart a house in their very first video. They don’t really get into that much trouble in real life, as Clash finds out, apart from Jess continuing to buy child travelcards aged 21 (which, let’s face it, we’ve all done).

With single two about to hit, we’ll no doubt see and hear from the foursome soon. Welcome to the (neon) jungle.

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Neon Jungle, 'Trouble'

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What: In-your-face, hyperactive pop

Where: London, Suffolk and Lanark

Get 3 songs: ‘Trouble’ (video above), ‘Braveheart’... that's it so far

Fact: Asami’s party trick is the human skipping rope, Shereen’s sung backing vocals for pop singer Florrie, Jess is in a kid’s TV show called Wizards vs. Aliens, and Amira has a phobia of, er, greetings cards.

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Words: Felicity Martin (@facilitymartin)

Photo: Neil Bedford (website)

Find Neon Jungle online here.

The new issue of Clash magazine, featuring a buffet of fresh bands to check out, is out now – go and find more.

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