Artist Spotlight: King Krule

King Krule performing at Melt! Festival 2013. Image: Henry Laurisch
King Krule performing at Melt! Festival 2013. Image: Henry Laurisch

It’s safe to say that King Krule (A.K.A. Archy Marshall, Zoo Kid, DJ JD Sports, Edgar the Beatmaker) is a bit of an indie enigma. Brought up in East Dulwich in South London and a distinctive product of ‘The Brit School’ (the education establishment that amongst others brought us Katy B, Adele, Amy Winehouse, and of course most importantly, Katie Melua), Marshall has been writing and recording material under various monikers since the age of eight.

He began gracing the airwaves as Zoo Kid from 2010 and recorded under the previously mentioned names before finally settling under King Krule- a name inspired by a Donkey Kong character.

Archy Marshall himself is an interesting character: if you were to read interviews with him and you‘d soon realise this. The Guardian ran a piece on him in December 2011, referring to him as ‘a bohemian boy wonder’ and highlighting his honest and brutally funny opinions on music, “From a young age I remember listening to S Club 7 and just thinking: ‘What the f**k is this?’”.

In addition, the feature showcased his maturity and wisdom, “Other generations, they’ve had punk, skinheads, NY no wave; art scenes as well as music scenes. Everything now is completely commercial, none of it relates to anyone … This is too tight, man!”. He also comes across as a clearly confident dude. When asked by MTV about Beyonce plugging his recent standout track ‘Easy Easy’ on her Facebook, he merely commented: ”It doesn’t surprise me. I think my music’s good.” We most certainly agree Arch’.

The purpose of this article is not solely to point out that he’s a bit of a lad in the media, his music is pretty good too. Arguably moving into the ‘guitar troubadour’ slot left vacant by Jamie T, King Krule brings back that youthful swirl and ‘lad about London’ feel that Jamie left us with on 2009′s ‘King & Queens’. However, it is lazy and reductive to class Krule as merely a Jamie T replacement though.

Krule brings a whole new set of talents to the table. For starters there’s the almost punky snarl that drifts across his debut album 6 Feet Beneath; a bassy, but distinctive croon that sets him apart from essentially all other current artists. His voice is impressive. Then follows the tunes themselves, sometimes spacious jazz-like creations that evoke the XX and the Mount Kimbie work that he is so fond of featuring on.

Songs such as ‘Cementality‘ and ‘Baby Blue‘ are chilled cuts that compliment the less delicate ‘Easy Easy‘. Krule’s live sessions on Zane Lowe recently also suggest that he’s got upcoming gigs covered. It’s nice to see a fellow ginger taking some of the creative burden off creative ginger #1, Josh Homme too. Check out thestand outtrack ‘Easy Easy’ and you’ll soon realise his debut record is a must have. Long live the king.

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