6 Feet Beneath the Moon
British singer/songwriter Archy Marshall aka King Krule may look like Tintin, but he has real soul and anguish in his music, and the voice of a much more lived man. The 19-year-old Londoner started his career at 15 making music under the name Zoo Kid, before changing over to his current moniker, King Krule, which he borrowed from the 1958 Elvis musical King Creole (contrary to the long-held belief that his name was inspired by the Donkey Kong villain King K. Rool). While the carrot-topped teenager has released music for four years, this fall marked the release of his long-awaited full-length debut, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, an album that shows an artist with sophistication and confidence well beyond his years.
I wrote about opening track “Easy Easy” last Friday, a song with a huge amount of buildup and heart for a song played just on a lonely electric guitar. There is a certain romance to the way Marshall sings and plays with his electric guitar, that even with his voice being as raw and loose as it is, it still comes off as strangely dreamy – just a lonely, disillusioned teenager alone with his hopes and fears. “Borderline” follows with a sunny guitar strum and a spare drum sample to wonderfully contradict Marshall’s heartbreak. Marshall’s anguish is so palpable throughout 6 Feet Beneath the Moon that it would feel overbearing at times if it wasn’t for the gentle, romantic underbelly to his music. Marshall well mixes the ugly and poetic on “Has This Hit?” and “Baby Blue”, songs where he is pouring out his love but just facing rejection.
Marshall surely has a way with words that’s hard to deny. On “Cementality”, he sings over a Fender Rhodes piano, like a slack-jawed Sinatra, lonely and defeated on a street corner. “A Lizard State” is a true shining moment, with Marshall on a revenge rampage over menacing horns and a jazzed-out rhythm section. If I have any complaint about 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, it’s that we didn’t get more dynamic tracks like “A Lizard State”, as much of the album is repetitious in style and sound.
Still, Marshall shows more than enough hear to make for a debut no doubt worth giving a listen.
Can’t Miss: “Easy Easy”, “A Lizard State”, “Has It Hit?”, “Cementality”
Can’t Hit: “Foreign 2”, “Bathed In Grey”