Archy Marshall’s music has been attracting interest for over three years and for many, this album has been a long time coming. Intense hype has followed his every move and with the likes of Beyoncé and Frank Ocean expressing admiration for the teenager, there was always a nagging doubt that this debut offering wouldn’t quite satisfy the immense expectation.
Released on his nineteenth birthday, 6 Feet Beneath The Moon offers plenty for the listener, but is by no means the true classic that King Krule is undoubtedly capable of. Instead, it documents the development of an adolescent as both a person and musician. You won’t be surprised to be told that that opener Easy Easy was written when he was 12, with talk of ‘Tesco stealing my money’ and a simplicity that makes for perfect single material, but its relative immaturity is an appropriate start to the journey.
6 Feet exemplifies why King Krule is so difficult to classify in terms of genre. Marshall’s own ambiguous definition of ‘Blue Wave’ is remarkably the most accurate way to describe this hybrid. His blend, which combines clear elements of hip-hop, jazz, blues and rock takes numerous different forms throughout, but provides a fittingly abstract backdrop to invite King Krule to tell his story, to which he obliges poetically.
Marshall’s trademark raw vocal is the driving force, providing a sense of cohesion whilst the record flits between the driving beats of Foreign 2 and The Krockadile, and the melting daydreams of Baby Blue and Neptune Estate. But even within his unique voice, there is impressive versatility from the snarling schoolboy insults of A Lizard State to the delicate vulnerability on Neptune Estate, as he begs ‘to be used’.
At the expense of recent singles Rock Bottom and Octopus, a slight rework of Out Getting Ribs is included as the penultimate track. As the song that first brought everyone’s attention to a 15-year-old ‘Zoo Kid’, it gives the impression that this album is an ode to the experiences that made the man, but one that displays his potential – a man destined for something great.