South London’s Archy Marshall, aka King Krule, produces a serious contender for 2013’s album of the year with 6 Feet Beneath The Moon; a stunning exhbition of jazz and RnB-inspired urban songwriting.
Since releasing ‘Out Getting Ribs’ three years ago, the hype surrounding Archy has grown and grown, which is always dangerous, especially for a former Brit School student. Whereas other hype acts, such as Palma Violets and Peace, have cashed in and released average or below-par albums, Archy has bided his time, honed his craft, and ensured that all important first LP would be the best it could possibly be.
As examples of his patience, Archy’s moniker has changed from Zoo Kid to the more mature King Krule; he’s released a set of EPs and singles; and has toured only sparingly, making the odd irregular festival appearance. Now, he’s in a position to embrace the success that his debut album deserves.
6 Feet… kicks off with the hook-ridden ‘Easy Easy’ – the most instantly accessible track on the album. Translucent lyrics accompany a chugging guitar and, by King Krule’s standards, a large chorus. Its position at the top of the album is definitely meant as an easy introduction to the more difficult listening to follow, and it works.
‘Border Line’ follows – a trippy track with a definite spring in its step, and built around a strikingly catchy riff. ‘Has This Hit’ hints at the more complex songwriting that King Krule is capable of, with its several distinctly different sections; the first obviously jazz-inspired moment. ‘Foreign 2’ is dirty, urban RnB, while the bassline in ‘Ceiling’ is a standout moment.
‘Cementality’ is haunting and contemplative; effectively poetry. ‘A Lizard State’ swings bigtime, the kind of thing you would’ve found in an American jazz bar fifty years ago. Of course, ‘Out Getting Ribs’ is impressive and reminds us all one final time why we got excited about King Krule in the first place. However, it is ‘Neptune Estate’ that easily outshines anything else on the album; a keys-led jam with a compulsive RnB beat and a frankly beautiful refrain of ‘Can’t you bear just one more night?’
It is impossible to place King Krule’s music into an established genre. Yes, he’s obviously listened to a lot of jazz and RnB, but his music fits into neither of these categories. In fact, he cites both Gene Vincent and Edwyn Collins as musical influences. So, therefore, it is fair to say that Archy Marshall just makes music that he likes, and long may he continue to do so. This may not be the perfect album, but it’s not far off the perfect debut album; a bold statement to the musical world.
…Alex is listening to Loom – ‘Warsaw’ (Warsaw Cover)…