As any music lover can attest, one of the best pastimes is finding new artists. Expanding your taste and climbing down the proverbial rabbit hole is a thrilling experience.Its even greater when the find comes from left field, almost like something you're not sure if you're supposed to experience or its not typically in your wheelhouse.
King Krule born Archy Marshall is a South London singer -songwriter who's been active since 2011going under the moniker Zoo Kid. Since the beginning, Marshall always embraced a collection of sounds including Punk, Jazz, Hip Hop, Dark Wave, Physedila, and Art Rock to blend a concoction that contains a heavy blanket of dark and hazy to an almost atmospheric vibe. King Krule is the type of artist where you don't necessarily know them. You stumble upon them. Their music is kept a secret, for fear of misunderstanding or dissolution of the music. It's held to the highest standard by such a small niche group that wouldn't even cause a blimp on a radar.
With his latest work Man Alive! Krule looks to step inside the limelight and deliver new sentiments about Love, fatherhood, and the sense of finding oneself over 40 mins. Starting within the first half of the album Marshall comes strong out of the gate with intro ‘Cellular’ which is a personal favorite of mine from this album. It starts with a simple lullaby like base line and brings in a crisp drum pattern in the background. It serves a great preview into the realm of “King Krule.”
From there the album dives straight into heartfelt ragers ‘Stoned Again’ and ‘Comet Face‘ where Archy gives nothing but raw emotion and pain in his voice, using drugs to escape his reality of depression, anger, and frankly being tired of the troubles daily life can bring. He uses these two track in unison to display his misplaced feelings about the world.
‘Alone, Omen 3’serves virtually as a climax to the album's first half. Like making it to the eye of a hurricane, not quite finished yet but sitting in a place of calm and breathability. This track gives another perspective of King Krule sonically and aesthetically. Taking a slight turn from the usual melancholy tone and shows Marshall in an optimistic light with lyrics like“ Don't forget you're not alone, sometimes you're stretched.”
From here the album does see a significant slide, whereas as years past seen King Krule put together much more cohesive projects. Man Alive! starts strong but lacks that extra layer of thing a song has to push it over the hump. No fault of the production as throughout multiple spots during the album I find it impossible to finish one song. Some tracks just don't have the lyricism or direction needed. Still getting highlights such as ‘(Don't let the dragon) Draag On’, inspired by the Cartoon Network hit show Adventure Time.
Archy Marshall was going through the impedimy of transition while creating his latest work. From becoming a father to moving from the comfortability home town of South London. King Krule’s reign is far from over and I’m interested to see the next step in his already noteworthy career. I rate this album an 7.5 out of 10.