Article By: Zack Cohen
Zoo Kid, DJ JD Sports, Edgar the Breathtaker, Archy Marshall, King Krule. No matter what pseudonym he is using, Archy Marshall continues to make incredibly complex and eerily blue music that evokes a whole range of emotion. His most recent album, The Ooz, mixes many different genres ranging from post-punk to hip-hop, jazz, punk, darkwave, and trip-hop.
The deep bellowing of the young South-Londoner’s static baritone voice alongside his carefully arranged poetic lyrical rhyme scheme is what resonates most amongst the organized chaos of mixing progressive music styles. Under the King Krule alias, Marshall is able to escape into his vulnerability with touchy song themes and subtle reverberated jazz influenced guitar riffs. The source of creativity behind his songs creates a unique juxtaposition between a seemingly shy kid on the recordings and an emotionally charged and energetic frontman at his gigs.
At age nineteen, Marshall established his King Krule persona with his debut album, “6 Feet Beneath the Moon”. After a three year break full of gigs, writers’ block, and collaborating with artists such as Mount Kimbie, Earl Sweatshirt, and his personal alias (Archy Marshall), Marshall returned with his second album as King Krule, “The Ooz”. The Ooz is unique in the sense that it is very reminiscent of a smokey “grimey” city jazz club. There are countless rainy sound effects applied to the beginning of the songs as well as dark saxophone notes.
Because of the popularity of 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, Marshall was able to utilize more resources than before, allowing him to collaborate with many other musicians who are arguably on the same caliber as himself. In the writing stage of The Ooz, Marshall met the Argentinian saxophonist, Ignacio Salvadores, who later become a key player in the making of The Ooz. Salvadores continues to tour with Marshall and was a key focal point at King Krule’s Denver show.
On Wednesday, April, 25th, Marshall, and his band arrived in Colorado for the first time under the King Krule alias. That night they played a show full of high energy at The Ogden Theater in Denver. Expectations were very high amongst those who had seen King Krule perform before. For those who hadn’t, minds were open, however, because of the nature of some of his songs and quiet personal demeanor, there was a fear that the energy wouldn’t be as high as it ended up being.
Opening with “Has it hit”, a track from his first album, King Krule set the bar high for the rest of the show. The band then cycled into tracks from their newest record with “dum surfer” (a song that encapsulates the “slimieness” that The Ooz draws from), ending with a hip-hop and jazz influenced jam bringing the band into one of the capstone tracks of 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, “A Lizard State”. At this point the crowd’s energy was at its peak, the audience began to dance together as hardcore fans crowd surfed up and over the barrier that had been placed in anticipation for a rowdy crowd. King Krule then fluctuated the rest of his set with quiet tunes alternating between both of his albums, bringing the energy back up to an all time high with his raw and convoluted experimental punk influenced jam, “Half Man Half Shark”.
Because of the range of talent within the band, the songs played at gigs are much different compared to the recordings. The tracks featuring Marshall solo were rearranged to feature every member of the band, allowing unique renditions that kept the crowd dancing and moshing together.
As the evening came to a close, King Krule played a killer segway of songs featuring his two most popular tracks, “Baby Blue” and “Easy Easy”. Marshall and his band then said their goodbyes and walked off the stage stoically. The energy in the air remained high.
Fans knew that Marshall would return to play one last song as his silver Fender Mustang guitar was replaced with a sunburst model. The audience then began to chant “Archy” in unison until he returned for his final song of the evening. King Krule ended the night starting off solo with a one of a kind rendition of “Out Getting Ribs”. After the first verse, his band returned to play the rest of the song and bring the night to a close.