King Krule, a 23 year old who’s scattered music through side projects have finally accumulated in the release of his second studio album, The OOZ, was worth it.
Easily my album of the year as of now, the project is extremely hard to pin point or place into one genre, with Archy Marshall’s mind racing through sonic landscapes. Touching on Trip-Hop, Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Neo-Psychedelic Pop all while remaining under the label of “Indie Rock” is truly a feat.
The textures Archy takes the listener through are wholly unique, right from the stripped back and atmospheric opener, “Biscuit Town”. Opening with a loop of a dreary guitar and minor keys, thumping drums pour in as Archy croons about sinking lower and lower into this abyss of drugs, girls and Coca-Cola.
From there the album continues to flow through small vignettes that Archy creates through minimal and bleak instrumentals. Although spanning different genres, the album stays incredibly consistent, both sonically and quality wise. The psychedelic horror of songs like “The Locomotive” and the lead single “Dum Surfer” move brilliantly into sketches like “Slush Puppy”, which although simplistic, left me with one of the most memorable melodies. Furthermore, the contrast of the hard rock and post punk influences in Dum Surfer compared to the feathery and frankly beautiful Slush Puppy proves why Archy is a genius at album construction.
From beginning to end, King Krule snatches the listener and places them in a hypnagogic state, floating through sonics like clouds. Hooks and verses drift by and drum loops cradle the listener safely from passage to passage. Stating in an interview that the album is named after “these disgusting, gunk substances from us,” I wouldn’t disagree with his decision to call it this considering the slow, free flowing music presented here.
Not only do the instrumentals snap, the lyrics clearly match up. Archy clearly thought about each second used on this record and decided whether or not it was important. He discusses his personal issues, whether drugs, his sudden rise to fame or his relationships with his loved ones. Of course, it goes without saying that his deep British accent makes the songs way more slick and cool. Tracks like “Lonely Blue” wouldn’t be the same without Archy’s bellowing over it.
I can go on about this album for an incredible amount of time, but just know that nothing will top it. King Krule just shut down 2017 with no prior warning other than a few singles. The textures and palettes Archy uses are so unique to this record, sometimes combining opposite sounds to create a wholly different experience. Although an incredibly slow-burn, I believe this a record worth many repeat listens to discover the true mastery behind it. At this point, it’s safe to say it, we’ve got our first definitive classic from King Krule.