Interview with authentic indie-pop duo JUNG

Consisting of brothers Tom and Henrik Ljungqvist, JUNG was born out of a love for anthemic music and a genuine love for people and connection. Their latest single ‘Somebody Like You’ via Universal Music Sweden is a lighthearted indie-pop track, perfect to sing along to any time of day. The brothers were born in Sweden, but lived in the USA and traveled frequently to Berlin as children. Moving around countries, the guy’s music palette was influenced by the work of iconic acts like Fleetwood Mac and Bruce Springsteen. ‘Somebody Like You’ will feature on JUNG’s EP titled She, which is slated for release on the 29th of October via Universal Music Sweden.

Stream/ download: ‘Somebody Like You’

Please describe your sound for us.

Wow, it’s always hard to paint in words. I guess our sound is a lot of different things. Sometimes we are an energetic and explosive wall of sound lighting up the room. And other times, just a little lonesome piano stanza in the dark space of doubt. But mostly, I think we are all about the melodies. And words of course. But melodies foremost, basically clinging on and playing with one another in different sound environments.

How did it all start for you?

Depends on where we start, hehe. For me, Henrik, I was five when I first encountered MTV. I remember it did something to me, I just got mesmerized by it, an addiction that just never stopped. Then when I was about nine, a close friend of mine had a brother who played guitar and sang in a band, recording music at home on their computer. I quickly started learning music programs and playing a few instruments. I’ve been making music ever since. But how it started for JUNG is a different story. We are brothers, so we have always been playing and having fun together. I guess I always tried to educate Tom, as you do as an older brother, and music certainly was a big part of that. I  remember the first time Tom came home with a Scissor Sisters album and I got really impressed. I had never heard them and that was the first time he showed me something new that was cool. Maybe that’s where the first seed of JUNG was planted. 

Which three artists would you say made you want to create your own music?

Can we only choose three? It’s so hard. There are so many great ones. My first CD was one with a Swedish artist called Magnus Uggla, and he is still a personal favourite. But he’s probably not on the list. I think the Swedish band Kent probably deserves to be our number one inspiration, and we recently got the chance to work with the singer Joakim Berg which was a massive dream come true. Coldplay definitely deserves to be mentioned. And perhaps Bruce Springsteen. Or Bob Dylan. Sorry, this was too hard, haha!

Your new single ‘Somebody Like You’ is romance orientated. Does this set the tone for your upcoming EP?

The short answer, yes. But I guess it’s more love-oriented than specifically romance, even though romance definitely plays a big role overall in the EP. 

 You previously spoke about the single and shared how: “Somebody Like You’ is about trying to find the spark again..” What motivated you with the idea to write lyrics that captured this feeling?

It’s been a few rough years for people around the world, us included. So without getting too personal, I think it’s been good in a way because it’s given us time to reflect, but also it’s been a test. When you are put on the spot like that, you truly show who you are and what you stand for. Where your morals stand and your work ethic. How far are you willing to go to fight for something you really want? 

What is your go-to gear/equipment when creating?

I usually work with a guitar and a computer, producing while we’re writing. Tom’s main instrument is the piano. So when we jam, it’s a guitar/piano set-up I should say. But we like working on the track at the same time as we are writing the song because sometimes sounds and beats can inspire the writing.

What are some of your key influences in your music? Whether it be the sound created by others, imagery, films or any kind of art form.

I think it differs a lot. But emotions are probably the common denominator. When you started out as a kid it was usually “broken heart” songs coming out of your system. Even though that still could be a powerful source to assemble from, I think we have developed more as we have grown up and found that songs pop up from various situations and places in our lives nowadays. We like writing about people in our life, close relationships, and whatnot, but at the same time, we also play with making up stories and tricky moral dilemmas. Whatever is accurate in our hearts and minds at the time I guess.

What is one sub-genre you think doesn’t get the attention it deserves?

Maybe ours, haha. No, but band music is on its way back, we’re sure of it. We’re feeling it :). In Sweden, it’s all about hip-hop and Swedish pop (with Swedish lyrics) for the time being. But there’s a strong craving for live arena band music on the rise and we’re gonna be there to take over the pedestal.  

Any new or upcoming artists on your radar?

There’s a Norwegian artist called SKAAR. She has an amazing voice. 

What single night out has been the most memorable for you? As a performer? As an attendee?

We played for a sold-out audience at Cirkus in Stockholm, as a finale for our first tour just before the pandemic came. That was an epic experience because it’s was a scene where we’ve had some massive nights as spectators back in the day – seeing acts like Jackson Brown, David Gray, Salem Al Fakir, to name a few. So definitely a bucket list tick-off, and also a memory driving us forward!

What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

We just came back from Spain shooting a music video for ‘Somebody Like You’. Really looking forward to showing the world this one, it’s definitely gonna be our finest piece of art visually…

Famous last words?

Haha, well if you wonder what my (Henrik’s) favorite course is, and also the only thing I ate when we were growing up (mom had to make a special dish just for me every evening!) It’s the Swedish version of fish and chips. Good to know if you ever end up taking me for lunch or so! ;D

‘Somebody Like You’ features on the Spotify playlist POP_GROUND.fm

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