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KING KRULE: Dum Surfer

NEW YORK TIMES: Archy Marshall, the enigmatic South London singer best known as King Krule, is a creature of the night. Known since the age of 15 as a preternaturally wise and unpredictable songwriter, Mr. Marshall, now 23, has assumed the mantle of a bard for the shrouded underclass, churning his anxiety, depression and insomnia into swampy, after-dark tales for the mischievous and disaffected. On songs that mix jazz, punk, dub, hip-hop and the affectations of a zonked-out lounge crooner, he has cut what he calls “gritty stories about the streets” with a “sensitive and romantic side,” aiming to take “social realism and make it social surrealism.” He’s also timelessly cool, a child of bohemia with a sharp proletarian edge, tall and model-gaunt with a gold-capped front tooth and a fluff of red hair. “In the dead of night I howl/We all have our evils,” Mr. Marshall snarls in his harsh, accented baritone on the new King Krule album, “The Ooz,” out Oct. 13, returning to his typical themes. MORE

NEW YORKER:
His sound isn’t hip or trendy. The references he makes in conversations can’t be found anywhere on the current American indie-music map. […] Marshall’s music has little in common with that made by most of his peers; he sounds more like people who, for Americans, fell off the radar years ago—the Jam’s Paul Weller, or the Streets’ Mike Skinner, both of whom offer detailed, concrete descriptions of the daily lives of British youths. He has side projects that veer toward hip-hop, but, as King Krule, he performs with an electric guitar, backed by trained jazz musicians (he has no training himself), and sings in an unadorned South London accent, with deadpan affect. He looks as if he could be part of a jam band or a bar band or a songwriting jingle house with little change. It is a striking presentation from a boy who grew up on hip-hop and dance hall. Exactly when nobody expected a raw guitar troubadour, along came a Tom Waits several time zones removed. As a child, Marshall didn’t care for school, and he mostly chose not to attend. Shuttling between his mother’s house, in East Dulwich, and his father’s house, in Peckham, he spent most of his time in his room, writing graffiti and recording songs. Social services threatened his parents with prison if Marshall didn’t go to school, and eventually he won a spot at the BRIT School, a performing-arts vocational school where both Adele and Amy Winehouse studied; there he established an uneasy truce with education. While he was finding his voice, he kept writing, and developed a love of jazz, which he describes as more raw than punk. MORE

KING KRULE PLAYS UNION TRANSFER ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 22ND

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