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COLUMN: King Krule releases dark album



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Archy Ivan Marshall, who performs under the stage name King Krule, released "The OOZ" on Oct. 13. The album is Marshall's second full-length work. Photo courtesy of True Panther Sounds Buy Photos

Archy Marshall released  his second album "The OOZ," under the name King Krule on Oct. 13.  This isn't his first name switch. He has released music under several names: his own, Zoo Kid, Pimp Shrimp, DJ JD Sports and Edgar the Beatmaker to name a few. 

According to Spotify monthly listeners, his most popular name to release music under is King Krule.

Marshall, a 23-year-old London native, began recording under Zoo Kid in 2010 and released “A New Place 2 Drown” under his real name in December 2015.  He started releasing music as King Krule in August 2013, with his first album under the name, “6 Feet Beneath the Moon.”

After a four-year Krule break, Marshall is back with more new music.

Marshall teased his fans with the possibility of a new album by sending out cryptic posters with no return address. On one side, there was a black and white photo of King Krule drinking a beer with a dog who had a human body. On the other side there was a list in a foreign language.

The posters were sent to fans who had previously purchased something from him online and were received before the newest album, “The OOZ,” was released. 

Marshall’s deep voice weaves its way through every track on “The OOZ,” flowing front and center through some tracks while hiding behind saxophones in others. 

The album creates an atmosphere of frustration. Some songs, like “The Locomotive” and “Emergency Blimp” flow back and forth between loud instruments accompanied by yelling to soft instruments and Marshall’s dark voice. 

The entire album is dark and a little depressing. The album creates an air of frustration with lyrics like “Nothing is working with me/I’m this worthless you see,” which he says in “Slush Puppy.”

I can’t quite put my finger on a genre for Marshall in “The OOZ.” It’s jazz, hip-hop, punk and screamy, dark wave and hints of R&B all rolled into one 19-track album.

The album is filled with atmospheric, alien sounds, most tracks reminding me of the deep sea. I think this is probably because Marshall’s sometimes muffled voice creates the feeling of being trapped somewhere dim, like the bottom of the ocean.

It features a lot of saxophone, piano, drums and guitar. Several songs, like “Logos,” barely feature Marshall’s voice. 

“Logos” is a jazzy song that needs silence to be truly appreciated. When I listened for the first time, I had to turn my headphones all the way up to try to block out the noise around me. 

If anything else is happening while listening to this song, you may only be able to hear the saxophone, keyboard and drums and will struggle to comprehend what Marshall is saying.

“Dum Surfer” is a track with an echo and is filled with Marshall’s muffled voice. This is a song that has potential to be danced to, but in order to dance, you would probably want to be able to sing all the words. 

The saxophones in this track meld beautifully with Marshall’s voice, so deeply that instead of “Dum Surfer,” it sounds like he could be saying “don’t suffer.”

If you’re into dark, jazzy-style music with a relaxing feel to it, King Krule’s “The OOZ” is the album for you. The album is perfect for Friday nights spent alone. It fits well with the air of annoyance that surrounds doing homework while the rest of your friends are out at the bars.

For my playlist this week, I chose a few King Krule and Archy Marshall songs, of course. I also added some songs that gave the playlist a bit of a lively feel to it, like tracks by Shlohmo and HOMESHAKE. 

Listen to “Homework? How Krule.” this Friday while you study for that big test and try to avoid the FOMO that comes with flipping through Snapchat while everyone else is out. 

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