Enter the Wilderness: Joe Raphael's 'The Jungle' Single Drops July 12

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New York City-based artist Joe Raphael is set to captivate listeners once again with his forthcoming single, "The Jungle," scheduled for release on July 12. This 4-minute track promises to be a haunting and mesmerizing musical experience, further solidifying Raphael's reputation as a boundary-pushing artist in the contemporary music scene.

To build anticipation for "The Jungle," Joe Raphael has released a chilling, horror-themed teaser video that sets the tone for this dark and mysterious track. It opens with Raphael alone in a dimly lit basement, holding a mask. As he lifts it to his face, a sudden flash reveals a satyr-like creature in the jungle—a foreboding hint of the mask's potential curse. This visually striking preview leaves viewers intrigued and slightly unsettled, perfectly mirroring the track's atmosphere.

"The Jungle" is a deep dive into a dark, psychedelic exploration of psychological and mythological themes. Joe Raphael's production showcases a rich, layered sound that blends 70s psychedelia with primitive, rhythmic elements. The result is a unique atmosphere that's both groovy and slightly unnerving, appealing to pop and indie music enthusiasts while pushing the boundaries of conventional songwriting.

In this track, Joe Raphael takes on the persona of "The Father of the Forest," the mysterious creature glimpsed in the teaser. Through his lyrics, he extends an invitation to listeners to enter the jungle, with a haunting warning that escape may be impossible: "They try to leave The Jungle, but they never get far."

"The Jungle" speaks to all the druids, shamans, witch doctors, wizards, elves, satyrs, and anyone who has ever found themselves wandering too far into the wilderness of their own psyche. Joe Raphael shares insights into his creative process, saying, "I was experimenting with a lot of production and created this sonic space that I really wanted to inhabit and play around in. The music was really evocative and made me imagine this fantastical pagan ritual that became the narrative of the song."

Reflecting on the deeper meaning behind "The Jungle," Raphael adds, "In mythology and fiction, The Jungle is the place where we become uncivilized. It is where the dark, dangerous, taboo, ugly, and animalistic parts of us live. I think it's actually really important as a person and especially as an artist to be familiar with this part of ourselves. It's where we can get in touch with our wants and desires, where we learn how to survive, it is where we can create freely, heal subconscious and psychological trauma, and create new ways of existing. But it can definitely be scary to visit."

Joe Raphael's fascination with therianthropy—human-animal shapeshifting in mythology and folklore—plays a significant role in shaping "The Jungle." He explains, "This is something we have in common in cultures all over the world and that many still practice today. So this is partly a musical homage to those practices as well."

The Jungle by Joe Raphael

The artist also draws inspiration from contemporary media, particularly fantasy, science fiction, and horror genres, to package this ancient narrative in a modern context. "The themes in this song have permeated through culture and mythology for thousands of years. We may have more distance from them in contemporary western society today, but we can often see them depicted in fiction and especially in fantasy, science fiction, and horror. So I embraced those genres of contemporary media as a way to package this particular narrative as well."

Delving deeper into the song's mythology, Joe Raphael reveals, "In the lore of the song, The Father of the Forest is the leader of a pagan sect, and he is inviting the listener to this musical ceremony to become more intimate with the animalistic parts of their psyche. He is a human, but he wears the satyr mask to represent that he is the guide between the real world and The Jungle. But what the participants don't know is that the whole ceremony is a trap. The Father of the Forest is stuck in The Jungle forever until someone else takes over for him. And he is looking for a victim to subject to this fate."

Joe Raphael has been making waves in the streaming scene since 2020, when he debuted with "The First Song." Since then, he has consistently released tracks that push the boundaries of contemporary music. His 2023 song "I'm Alive" garnered over 60,000 plays, showcasing his growing popularity. More recently, his June release "New Money" caught media attention, setting the stage for what promises to be an equally impactful reception for "The Jungle."

"The Jungle" is the second official single from Joe Raphael's much-awaited debut album, "Whatever I Feel Like," set to release on July 26. Fans can now pre-order the album on iTunes, ensuring they'll be among the first to experience Joe Raphael's complete artistic vision.

As we eagerly await the release of "The Jungle," it's clear that Joe Raphael continues to cement his place as an artist who defies musical boundaries. His unique blend of storytelling, atmospheric soundscapes, and genre-defying compositions offers listeners a cinematic journey through his artistry. Whether you're a long-time fan or new to Raphael's music, "The Jungle" promises to be a captivating experience that will leave you questioning the boundaries between reality and the wild unknown.

Mark your calendars for July 12 and prepare to lose yourself in "The Jungle." But remember, as The Father of the Forest warns, once you enter, you may never be able to leave.

Connect with Joe Raphael: 


Pre-order “Whatever I Feel Like” on iTunes:


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