Though August is typically a slow news month, a big beach month, and an even better time to freak the fuck out that your life is crashing into the fall, then winter, of your discontent without having really YOLO-ed hard enough all summer, it stood out to us as the best month this year for music. There was more than one occasion in August where we couldn't believe our ears—from the release of the highly-anticipated Doris to the haunting hurt of Destruction Unit—so many albums that resonated at Impose HQ clustered together at the cooled-down end of 2013's summer.
The biggest hero of the month, despite the shining, forceful heat of the East Coast, turned out to be a gritty, grey contribution from across the pond, not something poppier or lighter. Perhaps it was our inner selves reckoning with the coming cold front, but King Krule (oka Archy Marshall) was the ultimate champion of our August hearts, who we're starting to realize might be darker than we let on. The record, Marshall's first, is complicated and stuffy, like looking through the window of an abandoned pre-war British orphanage. Themes of disaparagement, self-hurt, longing, and mania all come through in King Krule's phenomenal debut, but even looking at the larger picture feels like too much—the highlight of King Krule's first output is that it is multitudinously varied, making each element demand individual attention and focus. The jazzy heartbeat of Marshall's expertly clean guitar, the maniacal undulating of his vocals, or the dub backbeat that filters through it all—these are all additions that need singular homage, and though its fabric occasionally pulls itself apart, that's to be expected from someone of such a young age. August may be over, and the colder months may start to roll forward, but with 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, we've been given an ample headstart into the icy, sorrowful winter.
The Best Album of August 2013:
“This record is undoubtedly complicated and a mixed bag—“Will I Come” and “Foreign 2” feel better suited for a bland art opening than a wizened debut—but it's through varying amalgamous sources that it’s possible to garner context, or at your own risk, attempt recontextualization. There are notes in Marshall’s singing that embody Springsteen’s girth and growl, and in his ability to bleed without restraint, he is more American than British. No one who has heard the crashing “A Foreign State” could categorize King Krule by archetypal British politeness. His delivery is so loud and abrasive that with every syllable he sounds as if he is spitting out raw rice. Claiming Fela Kuti, 30s American jazz standards, and The Damned as influences, King Krule’s debut was bound to be complex.”
Read the full review here.