A King Takes Flight

King Krule announces North American Tour

By: Dominick Wojtas


Archy Marshall, or better known by his stage name, King Krule, released his debut album 6 Feet Beneath the Moon back in 2013. This album brought him to prominence, particularly in the US, granting him performances on Conan and the Late Show with David Letterman.

His latest release, titled The Ooz, has claimed the spot for the number one Rock album of 2017 by Pitchfork magazine.
The underlying motif of this album is finding beauty and brilliance in loneliness. The album serves as a catharsis of his depression embodying his troubled love life. Performing as King Krule, Marshall possesses a voice so deep and filled with pain.

Not even taking into account the original sound of his music, his voice is an eccentricity in itself. It goes against logical reasoning to link a thin, pale bed-headed 23 year old, to the voice of a man who has stood witness to the most depraved events humanity can conjure.

Though royal in his moniker, King Krule spends The Ooz in the neglected part of the town, choosing to drink at the bars where individuals go to sulk instead of celebrate.

When asked about his stage name Archy explains. “Imagine a king crawling through the city on his hands and knees, it’s aristocracy at the very bottom.”

And although his perception of love may have reached rock bottom, it certainly makes for some beautiful lyrics. Featured on his debut album, within the song “Baby Blue”, prior to the distress-ridden howling featured later in the track, to set the tone he croons, “My sandpaper sight engraves a line into the rust of your tongue.” And then finishes the stanza off with a sigh of regret, “Girl I could’ve been someone…”   

His latest album is no different; feeling alone should never be this gorgeous but Archy seems to have mastered this on The Ooz.
He spends this album in the lowest depths of the gutter. On the album’s hit track, “Dum Surfer” Archy’s voice sounds like it’s won a triathlon featuring the disciplines of smoking, drinking, and sulking. With his deep, harsh, raspy voice he sings about his brain resembling “potato mash” (due to a combination of blame, guilt, and smoking hashish), and puking on the sidewalk.

On the track “Czech One”, Archy’s loneliness comes back in full swing as he moons, “She asked me why I’m here/ But I come here every night/ Do you need to tell her something?/ No, I need a place to write.” His lover fails to understand his presence in her life anymore. Archy, losing it all just needs a place to sulk in the form of written word. It’s a bit ironic because her rejection now fuels his creativity.

It’s almost saddening that a 23 year old would mimic the thoughts and aesthetic of “a man slumped on a barstool at a 24-hour diner, defeated and exhausted by booze and life”, Cameron Neimand narrates for an album review in The Diamondback. It’s as if he is a martyr for the sake of music, with his detrimental depression fueling his creativity.

Reflecting back on his childhood may pose as an explanation for the nature of his music. Archy grew up shuttling between his mother’s house and his father’s apartment.

He said he went through “a lot of f*cking weird shit” when he was young. At the age of 13, he was given a home tutor after persistently refusing to attend school. After that he was sent to two education centers for permanently excluded kids which Archy described as being “thrown into the lion’s den”.

All the while this was happening, he was being tested for an array of mental illnesses at London’s Maudsley Hospital.

He recounts, “That really took a toll on me. It was then I decided not give a shit about the establishment. Because a lot of the time. The doctors and the psychiatrists and the counsellors and my social workers were plain wrong. Basically, I hated everyone.”

Social services threatened Archy’s parents with prison if they were unable to get him to school. Thankfully, Archy’s love of music was his retreat amidst the madness of reality.

He recalled lying awake at night listening to the Pixies and the Libertines. “That was when I began to think about creating soundscapes,” he explains.

Ever since those lonely nights, it’s been history. The cumulation of everything from that moment on will bring him to North America this spring for a tour that starts on April 7 and concludes on May 4; at the Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY.

Get your tickets today and prepare to bask in the glory of this man’s grief.

Categories: Arts

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