Coming to Chicago: King Krule

WHO IS KING KRULE?

Archy Marshall, better known by his stage name King Krule, wears many, many hats. At just 23 years old he’s proven himself to be a talented singer, rapper, musician, producer, and songwriter. He also goes by many different names, releasing tracks under a variety of monikers, including Zoo Kid, DJ JD Sports, Edgar The Beatmaker, King Krule, and his real name. It’s no surprise that such a multi-faceted figure experiments with a diverse range of sounds, mixing punk, jazz, jangly rock, and hip-hop influences with his unique growling voice – resulting in interesting, complex tracks.

 

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WHAT’S HIS STORY

While many speak of music as an escape from everyday life, this is not a cliché for Marshall. Suffering from insomnia and an absolute hatred of school, he started to skip class enough that the government social workers got involved, subjecting him to exhausting psychological exams and counseling sessions. Music provided a change in atmosphere after winning a place at the Brit School where he developed a love for history and sociology. It was then that he released his first single under the name Zoo Kid and his career in music began.

 

WHAT’S HIS STYLE?

The most captivating aspect of King Krule’s music is his unique voice. It’s impossible not to feel his lyrics, as he rumbles, growls, and often slurs about anger, love, and sadness. Despite his dark lyrics, he always manages to make his descriptions of pain and confusion sound poetic and even beautiful. His raw portrayals of heartache and madness never feel depressing, but soulful. When King Krule yells he makes you want to yell along with him.

It’s hard to narrow down Marshall’s music to one genre. Nonetheless he has a style that is very much his own. Growing up in South London, he was influenced by the lively mix of Nigerian and Jamaican cultures. He also borrows from jazz and soul, citing jazz legends King Pleasure and Chet Baker as influences. This can be seen in many of his songs off his first album 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, such as ‘Neptune Estate,’ ‘Will I Come,’ and ‘Bathed in Grey.’ 6 Feet also features interesting synth and electronic sounds, which he layers with hip hop elements like trap beats and heavy bass in A New Place 2 Drown.

His latest project, the Ooz, is by far his most experimental and cohesive album. He keeps the lo-fi production feel throughout the record with the use of subwoofers and static-y recording quality under the smooth jazzy rhythms. He shows a smoother and less jarred side of his voice this time around, swapping his growl in emotional moments for a warbled croon on songs like ‘Lonely Blue,’ but bringing it back for others like ‘Dum Surfer’ and ‘Half Man Half Shark,’ in a style reminiscent of British punk rock bands like the Clash. Commenting on the album’s title, Marshall says:

“The ooz” for me represents … your sweat, your nails, the sleep that comes out of your eyes, your dead skin. All of those creations that you have to refine. That’s where it comes from: It’s kind of about refining the subconscious creations that you do constantly.”

-Archy Marshall via NPR 

Take a trip to the fathomless depths of Marshall’s mind, piecing together these “subconscious creations” for yourself. Listen to some of his best tracks below:

WHAT’S HE LIKE LIVE?

King Krule performs”Cementality” live at WFUV

King Krule performs “Easy Easy” on David Letterman

Watch King Krule talk about some of his favorite albums at Amoeba Records.


Catch him live Monday, October 30 at 9 pm at Metro. Doors open at 8 pm. 

♥ Written by Andrea Tabora 

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