Album Review: Jack & Archy Marshall ‘A New Place 2 Drown’

Archy Marshall aka Zoo Kid, aka King Krule has remerged out of the London underground with a bewitching new album and art project. ‘A New Place 2 Drown’ is the title of his new album, which is a cross section of art forms combined into one whole package that is bursting with creative talent. The project spans across an album, a short film and a 208 page book.

Marshall worked alongside his older brother Jack while creating the book which includes sketches, photographs and poetry all done by the two brothers. The individual pieces create a developed and consuming universe which is bleak but easy to get lost inside of with its dystopic realities.

The album begins with ‘Any God of Yours’ on a scatter of noise that pans around before a vague drum beat drops in. It is a thoroughly desolate sound that acts as a warning for what is to come. The early songs conjuring images of grey skies, lifeless tower blocks, and sparse fields of green that occasionally break the monotony of it all.

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Marshall’s voice is buried in the mix as he mumbles around in the background reciting poetry. It is like a glimpse inside the inner workings of the mind. There is confusion and contradictions aplenty, but if you look beyond all the haze there is clarity and beauty to be found there. Familiar themes pop up in the lyrics which float beneath a batch of beats that all meld into one long drawn out sequence. Problems with love, sex, isolation, and just about everything else in between are covered. It is a modern day record that reflects on inner city living and all the trials and tribulations that go along with it. On ‘Swell’ Marshall declaring in his drawling baritone ‘fuck my mental health’.

A restless urge for something more threads through the icy beats that are punctuated by snippets of television chatter and various beeps. Marshall’s stoned delivery adding an element of reality to those all too familiar feelings of isolation and disconnect.

‘The Sea Liner Mk 1’ floats by on a slinking bass while drums scuttle for coherency behind the scenes. While late track highlight ‘Empty Vessels’ continues the formula to a disorientating but invigorating extent.

‘A New Place 2 Drown’ finds more comfort in the solitude than his debut ‘6 Feet Beneath the Moon’ did. Not necessarily enjoying it, or even accepting it, but sinking into it nonetheless. It is a dark album that struggles with itself and the outside world, but you come out of it feeling that this is a universal feeling that everyone can relate to at one time or another in a gradually more disconnected world that we all live in.

You can stream the album on their site anewplace2drown.com

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Released December 10th on XL Records/ Remote Control Records

You can also watch the short film accompanying the album here: