Archy Marshall, also known as King Krule, has perfected using his voice to supplement his music. From his hip-hop album A New Place 2 Drown, released under his real name, to his newest King Krule album The OOZ, each song has a certain lazy charm that can be partially attributed to his voice.
It’s easy to be skeptical of King Krule’s simple charm; his deep, overwhelmingly British croon is not exactly singing. Much of the use of his vocals is a rough growl. In front of jazz beats, however, Marshall’s voice makes some sort of sense.
On Marshall’s first album under the moniker King Krule, 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, he spends much of the album in front of simple guitar riffs and basslines. On The OOZ, however, Krule integrates more hip-hop and jazz influences. His voice is still the familiar low growl, but it doesn’t get as much of the spotlight as it did on the first King Krule release.
In the four years since the first King Krule record, Marshall matured musically. He released A New Place 2 Drown in 2015, expanding his horizons from the guitar-dominant 6 Feet Beneath The Moon. The OOZ is a combination of the two, drawing on what Marshall says was a period of time surrounded by hip-hop production and a Spanish muse.
King Krule’s newfound hip hop influence makes for a more in-depth album. Compared to his other releases, The OOZ is a walk through Marshall’s life, dripping boredom, sadness and anger wherever appropriate.
Marshall said the album is about “the gunk,” or what the body does subconsciously. That concept is why the album sounds less like it is reaching a destination and more like the journey. It’s an exploration of Marshall’s unconscious as he experiments with jazzier guitar riffs and heavier basslines. He relies more on the music than in previous King Krule releases and changes his voice depending on the song. “Dum Surfer,” for example, is heavier and more engaging, and his voice is more front and center than on other songs on the album.
In the time between the releases of both King Krule albums, Archy Marshall found the difference between using music to supplement his voice and using his voice to supplement his music. His voice was used as more of an element alongside the music, rather than on top of it. The OOZ is King Krule’s transition into paying more attention to production and integrating his voice into the music.
Shelby Campbell is a freshman studying journalism and political science at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you listen to King Krule? Let Shelby know by tweeting her @bloodbuzzohioan.