Album Review: King Krule – 6 Feet Beneath the Moon

Archy Marshall, the young singer songwriter better known as King Krule, finally dropped his debut album after twitch-worthy anticipation. In 2011 he released his self-titled EP, giving us gorgeous concoctions of smooth lyricism and dreamy melodies evident in songs like ‘Bleak Blake’ and ‘The Noose of Jah City.’ Having a soft spot for eclectic takes on blues and soul music mixed with dark electronic pulses, I was thrilled when 6 Feet Beneath the Moon came out.

Until I wasn’t. I enjoyed the album the first time I took a listen through it. Even the second time was jam-filled, especially the later half of the album which I continued to bob along to. After my third listen onwards, a strange phenomenon took over which turned out to be my gradual distaste for the album. Marshall sounded strained to me, like he was trying so hard to set himself apart from the other musicians out there. A disconnect between his voice and instrumentals became increasingly apparent when I listened to the album on shuffle.

This act of switching around his song order is most likely what led to my disliking the album. His jazzier, funk-filled, rock jams are among the strongest songs from the LP, like ‘A Lizard State’ and ‘The Krockadile.’ They have a sentimental-turned-mysterious feeling to them – the vibes he created reminds me of driving with my dad as a kid as he’d play jazz and classic rock for me. The songs maintain a hint of bitterness to them with the aggressive style Marshall chose to sing them. He also proves to be an adept lyricist, especially with darker tracks like ‘Neptune Estate’ and ‘Will I Come.’ They reverberate with intense longing, which is surprisingly balanced between the instrumentals and vocals.

It was kind of painful for me to listen through 6 Feet Between the Moon from the opening track, ‘Easy Easy,’ to ‘Has This Hit?’ which weren’t strong enough to pique significant interest in the overall album. These were the most stressful to listen to in the album especially after I put them on shuffle – without the gradual build-up to his better tracks later in the album, taking the songs out of context made them significantly more jarring to listen to. The quirky vocals took on a disconcerting sound which proved to be fairly jolting. The weak introduction to the LP, however, was remedied by the outro, ‘Bathed in Grey,’ which was a beautifully written song and ended the latter half of the album on a much sweeter note.

The few take-aways from the album just weren’t enough for me to totally dig the LP as a whole. I enjoyed about every two songs from the album which was pretty disappointing. I’m all for musicians taking their music in different directions, since musical evolution is inevitable and desired; however, in this case, I was nostalgic for his earlier production style. The instrumentals on 6 Feet Beneath the Moon are damn stunning and impeccably executed. The vocals, on the other hand, left quite a lot to be desired since the two didn’t always mesh well for me – they were a tad too ethereal and dreamish to pair with such clean production.

Some stand-out songs from the album include ‘Foreign 2,’ ‘Cementality,’ ‘Will I Come,’ ‘Neptune Estate,’ and ‘Bathed in Grey.’