British singer-songwriter and guitarist King Krule is the musical alias of 19 year old Archy Marshall, who delivers a raw, resonant style by harnessing his unexpected yet unmistakable deep voice.
This week’s shows at the Independent are among Krule’s first in the U.S., and public fascination with the newcomer resulted in two consecutive weeknight sold-out shows, an impressive feat for any artist’s debut. Wearing baggy clothes and armed with ginger mop hair, King Krule and his three relaxed band-mates offered a uniquely bleak auditory live performance experience. Marshall’s vocals pair wickedly with his impressive drummer and guitarist, channeling a levelheaded sound that wavers loosely between mopey soul, stripped down hip-hop, indie rock and even some distinct elements of jazz.
He kept conversations with the crowd to a minimum, only offering peculiar grins while his fingers danced across his guitar strings. In between songs, Krule could be seen bobbing and silently humming either the previous or next melody from his set, sometimes with eyes closed. At one point he nestled his head on the shoulder of one of his guitarists.
The evening’s top tracks were “A Lizard State,” which compellingly upped the tempo and showcased the band’s synchronous capabilities, along with his telltale hit song “Easy Easy.” There were moments that sounded similar to the unrefined prog rock of Arctic Monkeys, however other moments seemed to compare more closely with a British rendition of bluesy Aloe Blacc.
Krule is a man of many artistic personas, having formerly performed as Zoo Kid while continuing to produce music under the names DJ JD Sports and Edgar The Beatmaker. He released a sophisticated self-titled EP in 2011 and his first album, 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, was received favorably when it released in August of this year. King Krule’s development will be compelling to follow as he grows.