ALI IN THE JUNGLE – Star-Strangled Hanna
5th June 2021
Taken from the EP ‘Late Night Triple Bill’ (released 19th June 2021)
For fans of: The Killers, Johnny Cash, Franz Ferdinand
The second single and cinematic post-punk revival track ‘Star-Strangled Hanna’ from upcoming EP Late Night Triple Bill by Ali In The Jungle
Hot on the heels of “Fuel on the Fire” comes the stunning new single “Star-Strangled Hanna” by Ali In The Jungle. Released on 3rd June, this punchy single from their debut EP “Late Night Triple Bill” takes an incisive look at the dark underbelly of the Hollywood film industry.
“Star-Strangled Hanna” is of course a warped pun on the US national anthem, and the song’s lyrics explore the nastier side of glitzy Hollywood. The ‘casting couch’ and the perverse actions of predators like Harvey Weinstein, plus the manipulation of so many aspiring stars who have been ‘used and abused’ by the Hollywood system, were the inspiration for this brash and bold track. While the rest of the “Late Night Triple Bill” EP shares the US influence in its country and Americana-inspired guitar work, atmosphere, and vocals, the music in ‘Star-Strangled Hanna’ itself feels intensely British, evoking the post-punk revival and indie music of The Housemartins, Franz Ferdinand, and Arctic Monkeys. Cinema has always been a huge source of inspiration for Ali In The Jungle’s music — the band thinks it’s important to give a song about Hollywood its roots in British music, since the UK can’t ignore the prejudices of its own film industry. “Star-Strangled Hanna” took inspiration too from The Beatles’ “Honey Pie”, in which McCartney laments a talented British woman leaving England and sailing across the Atlantic to Hollywood.
The band recognise that the themes of violence and abuse explored in the new EP are severe issues which need addressing, and would like to promote White Ribbon UK as a charity which engages with men and boys to end violence against women.
Indie innovators Ali In The Jungle have been swapping instruments and mixing genres since 2012. Over the years Tim, Chris, Sam and Ali have been pushing themselves toward writing and performing exciting, catchy, and meaningful indie music, each with a bit of extra awesome. Their music combines sharp wit with raw supercharged piano, post-punk, Britpop, glam, and jazz. Career highlights include warming up for ‘Drunk Folk’ artist Beans On Toast in their hometown of Milton Keynes, as well as performances at O2 Academy Islington, The Garage, 229 The Venue, and The Good Mixer in Camden.
“Ali In The Jungle, the fresh UK indie band, is the splendid incorporation of all things different, tackling all kinds of genres, from post-punk to glam rock to jazz to piano-pop.” Brenna Nouray, Nu Sound
For ‘Fuel on the Fire’ – “A unique, top class, vocal fills us in on the grizzly details” Ben, Vandalism Begins at Home
“If you’re a fan of Vampire Weekend, Keane and Arctic Monkeys to The Strokes, Oasis and David Bowie, you will understand and Ali In The Jungle will now be on your playlists.” RJ Frometa, Vents Magazine
“combine multiple influences and some bold and innovative instrumentation to create something truly unique and original.” E2TG, Ear To The Ground
Amazing Radio // Vents Magazine // Rock Shot Magazine // Volatile Weekly // The Knot // The Musical Hype // Charlie Mason Radio // Belter Radio // Hayes FM // Radio-WIGWAM // The Indie Lounge
ABOUT THE SONG
In particular this track was influenced by our love of post-punk revival music in the 2000s and is a homage to the music we grew up with (Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not is a big touchstone for us). Verses like Franz Ferdinand/The Arctic Monkeys, choruses like The Libertines/Fratellis. But there’s also older influences in here, a chorus bass line that sounds like it could be by Andy Rourke of The Smiths, and our drummer Ali making a terrible but fun reference to ‘Helter Skelter’ by The Beatles at the end where he shouts “I’ve got lipstick on my fingers”. It was important to us to make the music inherently ‘British’ to serve as a reminder of the UK’s involvement with America and Hollywood (the lyrics being about industry abuse, and the American Dream). “Star-Strangled Hanna” also took inspiration too from The Beatles’ “Honey Pie”, in which McCartney laments a talented British woman leaving England and sailing across the Atlantic to Hollywood.
Recorded and produced by Ru Cook at Lost Boys Studio near Bedford.