The 22-year-old English singer, songwriter, producer and musician is an interesting character to say the least, with an original sound which he refers to as “Bluewave”. Having officially published just two albums, “6 Feet Beneath the Moon” (2013) and “A New Place 2 Drown” (2015) under his real name Archy Marshall, the young artist who came onto the scene at just 19 is discovering himself.
“King Krule” (2011) the EP, was my first discovery of this guy who had come out of Brit School, collaborating closely (still) with Jamie Isaac, ‘The Noose of Jah City’ caught my attention. It also caught the attention of many and shortly after came his debut album, which earned him spots on big US shows as well as tours around Europe, UK and North America. It’s hard to exactly pin down what his sound is, it has jazz fusion, punk jazz, post-punk/hip-hop waves that I guess can only be described like he’s said – Bluewave.
I absolutely love King Krule, I love the variety of instruments, the twisted jazz and his use of effects that makes him stand-out from your average musician. I feel uncomfortable when I listen to his music, some of the chords progression aren’t common in contemporary music and are unorthodox as in ‘A Lizard State’. But as soon as the chorus hits, it’s a relief of smooth melodies that emerge from angst and pain. His poignant voice hits your ears and with a ton of reverb on his guitar, I sometimes feel like I’m in a big space where his music resonates endlessly such as with ‘Easy Easy’. Whilst some consider he isn’t singing, his different style is enough to make you understand the emotion and poetry behind this artist. It’s different, it’s original and it’s really good.
In recent interviews, whilst seeming to be a genuine, down-to-earth lad, he’s had lots of musical influences in his surrounding but had trouble with school growing up whilst being tested for mental illness saying: “That really took its toll on me. It was then I decided to not give a shit about the establishment, because a lot of the time, the doctors and the psychiatrists and the counsellors and my social workers were plain wrong. Basically, I hated everyone.” Bouts of insomnia, he would also lay awake at night listening to Pixies and The Libertines, making him think about soundscapes and what could have stemmed the rawness in voice.
“A New Place to Drown” under his real name involves a lot more electronic instruments, keyboards, sampling, showing the variety and the discovery process this young artist is travelling on. Accompanied by his older brother who is big on art, both took part in the creative direction the album went, exploring possibilities and spectrums that many artist don’t dare cross or voyage into.
It’s been great to see Archie go about with projects involving different sounds, genres and musicians. I’m happy to see that he isn’t sticking to just one side of himself but is continuously learning and adapting to new instruments, crowd, venues as well as situations. Did you know he also goes by the name of Edgar The Breathtaker, playing boiler sets which resembles some type of poetry through wavy, distorted and transfused music? Catch a Boiler Room set of his right here:
All in all, big up Archie, keep doing your thing, keep discovering, keep on keeping on because not many artist choose the path of self-exploration and have met early deaths or shortenings in inspiration but no matter what, you’ll always be able to refer yourself back to what you’ve published/learned and I love that.