originally published on GrimyGoods.com
King Krule, the multi-genre juggling stage name of UK artist Archy Marshall, has shared his first new single since 2013 today with the deeply atmospheric, lounge-jazz piece, "Czech One." Paired with a noir-esque music video filmed on what feels like 80's home-video tapes, the song sees Marshall wandering amongst strangers--from dimly lit red-eye flights to sprawling city streets--as he waxes existential-like on the past, present, and future. A slow-burner that elongates itself along the velvet, baritone sighs of Marshall, "Czech One," zig-zags around twinkling ivory keys, waning saxes, and distant guitar plucks as his meditations on life and love take him around the globe.
The minimalist and almost improvisational nature of the song places the songwriting in the spotlight--or rather the soft glow of candlelight--like a lone singer tucked into the smokey-shrouded confines of a bar with leather cushioned seats and half-sipped martinis. Close your eyes and you might even see Marshall swaying center stage, the rest of the band in pitted darkness and revealed only with brief illuminations as their tones appear throughout the song. Wrapped around that sleepy melancholy is an almost modernist suffocation on the angsts surrounding his existence, which hinges on a very tangible focal point--a girl. In a very "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"-sense, insecurities keep Marshall paralyzed in his romantic pursuits and really any personal connection, a sentiment that takes flight quite literally in the music video as he becomes a passenger to his life, lost in his introspections.
"Where tiny men have been absorbed for questioning the sky / To when and where the stars were formed, that glance upon this night / Lightyears to sit upon and paint us as we lie / And to think it’s us she’s wasted on, can’t even look her in the eye," he sings rather sadly and ironically, musing on the grandiose of human existence, which in turn makes him feel so small to her, whereas his own self-absorption is the true hinderance. Whimsically poetic, Marshall is as transfixing as ever and we are happy to once again be lost in the tangle of his rich murmurs.