Release Date: Nov 8, 2011
Record label: True Panther Sounds
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
If you've ever slowly blinked back to consciousness in a dentist's chair, unable to distinguish dream from fact, you already know what King Krule sounds like. Archy Marshall, the 17-year-old who wrote and sing- mumbles this five-song EP, exaggerates his South East London accent and douses his voice in echo, so it's slurred and evasive. Slow hip-hop beats fade in, brush against sparse guitar chords, then disappear like a distant radio signal.
This summer's riots in London were unique in that a great deal of those taking part were essentially kids-- young people whose opportunities have been squeezed tight over the past years with widespread youth unemployment and huge University fees. Generational divides can often make the things young people do seem kind of alien, and the riots-- with no spokesperson and no manifesto-- were difficult for some people to comprehend. At just 17 Archy Marshall, aka King Krule, belongs to that frustrated section of the populace, and although he told Pitchfork recently that he didn't riot himself, he understood why others did.
Hype is a strange machine in the music world. It draws quick lines in the dirt amongst critics and listeners alike often at the expense of the music and the artist. After all, hype is the fault of everyone but the artist and yet, they must bear the brunt of it. If we follow the hyperbole surrounding 17-year old, rail-thin English ginger King Krule (née Archy Marshall), he’s apparently threatening to overtake melancholic UK pop well before he's old enough to have a proper stateside pint.
Archy Marshall, the gangly, redheaded adolescent who records as King Krule, looks sort of like Archie Andrews on the worst day of his life. He’s pale, sallow-skinned, and pretty much every picture of the kid finds him skulking in an oversized coat or sweater. Still, the amount of misery he can convey in a press photo is nothing compared to what he can do with his voice, a drawling baritone that’s almost comically mismatched to his slight frame.