Four years ago, King Krule meant resounding guitar riffs coupled with vocals known for their gravelly punch and raucousness, telling stories of heartache and anger. Now, it means a soft-treading hip hop beat and gospel-like harmonies, all woven together with meandering piano melodies that play like a lazy lullaby - it means Czech One, the first single English singer-songwriter Archy Marshall has released under his King Krule moniker since 2013.
Marshall has lost the guitar, but none of the emotiveness which made tracks like Easy Easy and Baby Blue - off his debut album 6 Feet Beneath the Moon - notable standouts.
Czech One is a quiet recount of a conversation between Marshall and an unnamed lover, underscored with shadowy dissonance in the vein of A New Place 2 Drown, Marshall’s moody 2015 release under his real name. As the piano wanders, away from repetition and into improvised jazz territory, the appearance of a warbling solo saxophone confirms that Marshall is trying something new - something to redefine King Krule. Czech One may fade out in a way that evokes the winding down of a music box, or a film fading to black after its tragic climax, but it’s clear that King Krule is here to stay, and a new record is definitely in the works.
Catch the video below: