6 Feet From The Moon
As King Krule, 18 year old south-east London based singer/ producer/ songwriter Archy Marshall has quietly and stealthily crafted a reputation for himself as one of the most raw and startling voices of a new generation. With his unexpectedly deep and mournful baritone tracing fissures of disappointment and social disorientation to devastating effect, Marshall has harnessed the inchoate frustration and fury of youth and translated it into a series of brilliant singles released on the likes of True Panther Sounds and Rinse over the past couple of years.
Now comes â€œ6 Feet Beneath the Moonâ€, his first full-length on XL Recordings/ True Panther Sounds, and with it, the much anticipated unveiling of the full scope and scale of Marshallâ€™s vision. Over the course of 14 tracks, Marshallâ€™s passions and confusions are rubbed raw and laid bare, the only connective tissue throughout it all being one of searing lyrical clarity paired with a confounding musical deftness which utterly belies his tender years. From the opening clarion call of â€œEasy, Easyâ€ it is abundantly clear that this is a breathtakingly bold and arresting sonic worldview, as his songs, produced by Marshall along with Rodaidh McDonald (The XX, Savages), open up to become a loose knit meditation on regret and discontent, loss of faith and renewal of hope, and optimism in the face of desperation.
Eschewing much of his previously released material, â€œ6 Feet Beneath the Moonâ€ firmly yet soundly rejects any notion of contemporary trends or peers to occupy its very own unique place on the music landscape, oscillating gently between the classic 50s soul of Gene Vincent and Elvis Presley to the minimal, avant-garde experimentation of Penguin CafÃ© Orchestra, to even the electronic smog and dub textures of Marshallâ€™s beloved Rinse FM. This is a record where the nakedly bluesy stomp of the likes of â€œA Lizard Stateâ€ and â€œEasy, Easyâ€ sit effortlessly next to the low-end frequency and shimmering beats of â€œNeptune Estateâ€ and â€œWill I Comeâ€, after all. It is reflective as much of Marshallâ€™s own eclectic tastes as it is of the frenetic pulse and rhythm of the city around him, particularly the rapidly changing south-east areas in which he grew up. There is a genuine grittiness and world weariness ingrained here, as exemplified so succinctly when Marshall sings, â€œHateâ€¦runs through my bloodâ€ on the stunning â€œOut Getting Ribsâ€, the track which started all the fuss.
All these esoteric textures and fidgety, off-kilter rhythms make perfect sense as an album however, especially when you consider that incredible voice. Whether he is singing ruefully of youthful disaffection and â€œthe heat of my own treasonâ€ (â€œCeilingâ€) or spitting out venomous lines like â€œIâ€™m not going to crack like you crackedâ€¦I donâ€™t want to be trapped in the black of your heartâ€ over the jittery â€œA Lizard Stateâ€, its clear that something which marks Marshall out is his stunning ability to turn intense emotional peaks and troughs into spectacular pieces of artful, atmospheric and anthemic balladeering.
Some of the imagery is disturbing to be sure (as on the closer â€œBathed in Greyâ€ where he offhandedly murmurs that he â€œthere was bloodâ€¦found a body in the darkâ€) but the songs are also imbued with genuine heart as well. Taken as a whole, â€œ6 Feet Beneath the Moonâ€ is the sound of a young man growing up â€“ not for nothing is this album being released, unconventionally enough, on Saturday, which also marks Marshallâ€™s 19th birthday â€“ and attempting to grapple with the realities of the world he inhabits, an unsparing dissection of the social decay that has begun to set in around him - and a fascinating, brutal journey it is too.
3.Has This Hit?
8.A Lizard State
9.Will I Come
13.Out Getting Ribs
14.Bathed in Grey