Church or Jungle // The Great War

Even Church or Jungle's name carries within it a resignation to uncertainty, an unease that is reflected in the themes of his music. Throughout his performance of tracks from the album The Great War, Church or Jungle shared something of the state of mind from which they were generated - bouts of blackness that the label 'depression' seems too trivial to cover. He paints a picture of debilitating malaise, an intensely real emotional void that struck from nowhere to leave him feeling disconnected from both the external world and his internal capacity for feeling. He uses beat-boxing with live looping as a methodology for navigating the blackness and to reconnect with his internal world. Given the context of mental anguish I found that I didn’t want to consider the resulting tracks purely for their musicality: I was ever aware that this music was not the result of controlled reflection but a record of a raw place of human experience that is characteristically difficult to articulate.

Direct and straightforward beats are layered with a few textures and dressed with simple lyrics that cast off poetic pretension in favour of making the most direct appeal to the feeling of the moment that created them. The humility of its musical texture and lyrical tone are at once a symptom of the malaise and its cure. There is no hiding from the depression in these landscapes, but with them the artist has found a way to come face to face with the depression that has blighted him. Through his music he speaks with it on its own terms, treating it as a muse, and beginning to find a path through it.

Church or Jungle's music - like his moniker - appears to be at once an accurate portrayal of the thick jungle of depression and a place of sanctuary from it. (JL)

- Jim Lockey

Links Relevant to this Diagnosis:

You can buy The Great War from with 50% of profits going to mental health charities.

For more outsider musicians using illness as a driver for their creative output see Daniel Johnston and Wesley Willis

Can Music Make You Sick? For more on the links between depression and the music industry visit

For more on live looping as a way of building a song watch this interview with another Folkestone creative Dan Addison

Get help with mental health concerns