Music Review: King Krule – 6 Feet Beneath the Moon
Having recently recapped our top ten gentlemen’s albums of 2013 and with a slow start to 2014, it has given us the chance to reflect on some forgotten gems from last year and the perfect opportunity to review what we felt was the most slept on album of 2013.
King Krule’s 6 Feet Beneath The Moon was released on August 26th of last year and while it received critical acclaim amongst specialist blog sites and other publications, it went unrecognised commercially. Whilst the frail, pale faced Londoner does not appear as the type of artist that longs for recognition and commercial success, the music was so incredible that it is surprising that this album failed to reach a larger audience.
The majority of this album revolves around a lost kid trying to find his way in life and love whilst questioning everything along the way. Krule’s emotions of anger and loneliness resonate throughout the album, matching his distinct, drooly vocal. Not only does King Krule’s deep, slurred vocal sound as if he’s had one too many alcoholic beverages, it also creates a dark and eerie atmosphere. This mood is brilliantly contrasted with the bright, minimalistic backing tracks, most notably on Boarder Line, when the chorus breaks into a house feel reminiscent of a SBTRKT production; The Krockadile, which has a funky baseline and choppy guitar licks; and Baby Blue, providing a soft and beautiful moment with guitar strums which is disguised with brash poetic vocabulary.
Although many would class this as an indie album, to try and put a label of genre on this record would only serve to do a great injustice. This album features a wide array of diverse influences from a variety of genres. This is shown through the jazz styled drums and saxophone on A Lizard State, injecting a change of pace and dose of energy which is matched by Krule’s rapid fire lyrical onslaught; similar to the early Arctic Monkeys’ style. Neptune Estate has a heavy hip-hop influence, with a gritty drum loop that takes inspiration from early 90’s hip-hop records, paired repetitive piano chords. The repetition however, can become burdensome to listen. Other influences can be found on Will I Come, featuring high pitched vocal samples spread throughout the song, which are comparable to James Blake production technique. Additionally, the majority of the drums on this album sound as if they come straight off of a drum machine, generating a Pop/EDM feel.
On the more traditional indie/rock tracks, King Krule, real name Archy Marshall, finds a way to make them completely unique by adding effects to the instrumentals; whether it’s the phaser on Baby Blue or the heavy use of reverb on the surprisingly romantic Ocean Bed and the observant Foreign 2.
The unique approach to the production is only one side to what makes this a great album; King Krule’s poetic and blunt lyrics are projected in a spoken word style which adds to the true personality of this record. Whilst at times Marshall strings together predictable and cheesy lines, he does a good job overall of portraying his ‘boy against world’ mentality. This album has a dark cloud hanging over it, and despite the brief rays of light that occasionally shine through, it is the the depression within the music that becomes a clear central theme, especially on tracks Cementality and Bathed In Grey, which feature suicidal innuendos; shifting the at times playful album into something far more serious.
As the album progresses, King Krule’s distinct style and singular tonal voice makes many of the tracks indistinguishable from one another, causing some to become forgettable and skippable. The album could benefit from a change of pace and delivery to keep listeners attention; more tracks like A Lizard State would help to balance this album. With that said, Krule’s uniqueness and originality triumph, creating a project perfect for escaping the norm and mundane. An exceptional work of art that suffers from its own successes
How many of you have revisited this album since its release and how have your opinions changed on this project? What do expect out of King Krule in 2014? What album released this year would you like to see us review? Leave a comment and let us know.