Since the release of his 2013 debut album 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, Archy Marshall (aka King Krule) has been low-key busy. He's released music with his friends and hung out with Mount Kimbie on NTS Radio, and in 2014 he worked with his older brother Jack, a visual artist, on Inner City Ooz, a collaborative art exhibition/sound installation.
Last week he joined Instagram as @edgar_the_breathtaker and shared a new photo with the caption "ANP2D coming soon …" Was a new King Krule album on its way? Well, not quite. Yesterday he announced the project, A New Place 2 Drown, a collaboration between himself and Jack. He's dropped the King Krule alias for the release, which is taking the form of a book, a soundtrack, and a short film. For fans of the Marshall brothers, it’s Christmas come early—quite literally, because the collection is out next week (December 10). Here's what we know about it so far.
It's not a new King Krule album.
A New Place 2 Drown is, first and foremost, a book. The 208-page volume features poetry and artwork from Archy and Jack, although there will be an accompanying soundtrack featuring new music. However, although both artists have adopted pseudonyms before (Archy has assumed names such as Edgar The Beatmaker, DJ JD Sports, and Zoo Kid as well as King Krule, while Jack has used the name Mr. Gone in the past), here they've dropped the monikers, suggesting it'll be their most personal work to date.
But there is new music, and you can hear some of it now.
Three tracks from A New Place To Drown are available to stream via the project's website right now. To hear them, click and hold on the 'Music' tab. Two of the tracks feature Archy Marshall's distinctive baritone, but the focus seems to be on his crackling electronic production more than his songwriting. "Sex With Nobody" is a driftless UK garage track with helium-contorted vocals, "Arise Dear Brother" is a stoned-out rap beat, while "Any God of Yours" is a dense, hypnotic sound world. More than anything, it's clear how much he's developed as a producer since his last record two years ago.
It’s a story of two brothers.
While King Krule might be the better-known of the pair, A New Place 2 Drown is the work of two collaborators on equal footing. It's not the first time the siblings have collaborated: Jack created the artwork for 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, while last year's Inner City Ooz, taking place at the Display Gallery in east London, featured his visual art alongside Archy's sound installations and live performances. Archy has described Jack as his biggest influence: "The art he showed me, and a different way of looking at things—he showed me a different mentality and it helped me grow a lot," he told RockFeedBack in 2013.
Jack Marshall is an established visual artist in his own right.
Jack's artwork has a similar thematic focus to his brother's music, telling fragmented narratives of life in the city. Some of his work is explicitly about growing up in south London, like his piece Nunhead, named after the Lewisham suburb that houses an overgrown cemetery as well as the brothers' favorite reservoir. Earlier this year, Jack ran a solo exhibition at the Display Gallery called Low Battery that aimed to capture the rhythmic identity of the city, with themes of gentrification, advertising, vandalism, and noise pollution all abstracted into his artwork.
The short film is a sweet slice of real life.
Rounding out the project is a short film directed by Will Robson Scott that promises an intimate look into the lives of the Marshall brothers. Its trailer shows Jack and Archy working on their paintings and their music, hanging out, getting haircuts from their mom, and smoking spliffs in their back garden.
Revisit the King Krule's FADER cover story.