Enter the depths of his mind
King Krule recently released his second full-length studio album, The OOZ. The 23-year-old artist hails from London, and while this is only his second full-length album as King Krule, he has also released under the name Zoo Kid and his birth name, Archy Marshall. Although under varying aliases and levels of experience throughout time, each work consists of the same entrancing aura of layered emotion which undeniably belongs to the same artist.
His first album as King Krule was 6 Feet Beneath the Moon released in 2013. Despite only being 19 at the time, he obviously had a fine-tuned vision of his place in the music world. Even so, proof of his four-year evolution can be heard in The OOZ. After a long hiatus as King Krule, he broke the silence and released the first single off the album, “Czech One.”
Similar to previous works, the 19-track record does not fit neatly into one specific genre and is often described as being anywhere from trip-hop, punk, indie rock and jazz. Through this collaboration of influences, the sound of this album is able to transport the listener to somewhere new, unfamiliar and slightly ominous. “Biscuit Town” kicks off the album and features an eclectic, soft jazz tune accompanied by Krule’s musings.
Unlike many solo artists, Krule treats his vocals as an instrument of equal power and importance to the rest. He plays with the intensity and tone of his vocals in tracks such as “Dum Surfer” and “Slush Puppy,” as he toys with vocal distortion techniques. Tracks such as “Sublunary” and “Half Man Half Shark” are intensely dark and almost suspenseful, but equally mesmerizing. Krule’s vocals echo through the seemingly infinite layers of sound. Rock influences are clear in “Emergency Blimp” as guitar thrashes overpower the angsty vocals. Lastly, “La Lune” closes out the album with a peaceful, twinkling tune and the background noise of a storm.
One of the most visceral examples of his artistry is shown through his range of lyricism. “Dum Surfer” epitomizes his skill of storytelling through bold imagery as he paints a picture through words. With each song being written by Krule himself, he is able to fully convey his emotions and thoughts. This can especially be seen in tracks such as “Biscuit Town” which offers insight to Krule’s life, as the title of the song is a nickname for the town in which he resides — Bermondsey, London. This song, and many others on the record, are influenced by a period of his life in which he “bummed” around in Bermondsey. Krule sings “I seem to sink lower in Biscuit Town,” explaining his feelings of feeling trapped in the town and eventually growing tired of it. Krule also writes about love — specifically a lost love —as he sings “She still hugs the cold night air / But he’s gone” in “Lonely Blue.”
Although only one person, King Krule is not only a singer. The complexity of his artistry is magnified in the writing and production of each track in The OOZ. These carefully crafted 19 tracks will hold Archy Marshall’s ground in the world until his next reappearance as King Krule.