Saturday, July 20, 2013

King Krule - 6 Feet Beneath the Moon

What does an 18-going-on-19 year old have to do to get his voice to sound like the deepest, darkest cauldron of secrets? King Krule is but one man, but that doesn’t stop Archy Marshall from finding a way to sound like he has the weight of this complex, tumultuous world on his shoulders. Harsh and unharnessed, Marshall expresses so much emotion that it doesn’t matter when some of the songs here are merely peppered with instrumentation – like shrubbery in a desert.
Small atmospheric synthesizers float through “Foreign,” creeping under Marshall’s lyrics. You can hear trip-hop influences on the sparse “Ceiling” and album closer “What Is There To Say.” Both are the kind of incredibly chill numbers that rattle languidly, floating into the background.
But 6 Feet Beneath the Moon is also often raucous – even abrasive at times. “Has This His” isn’t an exercise in conventional beauty, and the minor key tonality never lets on to an ounce of hope. The same antagonizing tone rings through “Lizard State,” but the latter is much more playful, with jazzy horns and a racing fit of percussive bass.
“Out Getting Ribs” is starkly different from an earlier version, released under Marshall’s previous moniker, Zoo Kid. Where the early version coated his vocals with reverb and echo, and the guitar riff reigns supreme, the final version is less forgiving. Marshall’s throat sounds rubbed raw, and his anxiety heightened.
This album gives you a taste of Marshall’s many moods, but even the more upbeat songs have an undertone of misery. It’s a harsh listen, but it sounds fresh because it’s also unique. What will really blow your mind is seeing a picture of Marshall after listening. That voice – coming from his babyface – is really something of a miracle.

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