Friday, October 01, 2021

King Krule raises our temperature with his new live album ‘You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down’

Archy Marshall, also known as King Krule, has been releasing remarkable music for the last eight years. Although his music doesn’t really fall into one genre, there’s some clear punk and jazz fusion influences throughout his catalogue. 

A few weeks before the globe went into lockdown, King Krule performed a handful of live shows throughout Europe. These shows have now been grouped together to be released as a live album, titled ‘You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down’. 

The album features an impressive setlist of seventeen tracks that incorporates snippets from Krule’s entire discography and has an accompanying short film, directed by Reuben Bastienne-Lewis.

The album opens with ‘Out Getting Ribs’, one of Krule’s more popular tracks. It starts with the slow chord progression of an electric guitar, before the song slowly begins to ramp up. At about the one-minute mark, Marshall's excellent song-writing begins to shine through. The guitar increases in tempo and the complexity of the guitar composition escalates. Then, finally, you bear witness to Krule’s fantastic lyrics. 

‘Out Getting Ribs’ was first written eight years ago when Marshall was nineteen-years-old and it's remarkable that even at such a young age, he managed to develop such a mature writing style. The track opens with “And hate runs through my blood / Well my tongue was in love.” It’s a great use of wordplay and demonstrates a contrast between two polarising emotions. What is perhaps most impressive about these lyrics is that it gives you the underlying themes of the entire song in the first two lines. It’s a song that details rejection and lovesickness – it’s an intimate track that feels incredibly mournful and it’s a great start to the album.

Next up it’s ‘Emergency Blimp’ which is a more energetic track than ‘Out Getting Ribs.’ It details the singer’s dismay with his prescribed sleeping pills; with the track garnering its title from the prescribed blimp shaped medication. Like all of Krule’s tracks, it’s an irrevocably bleak song, and the faster tempo works wonders here with the polarity of his insomnia. It’s a great track that seamlessly leads on from its predecessor exceptionally well.

Further down on the tracklist is ‘Alone, Omen 3’. It’s a slower track that focuses on Archy reminding his audience that no matter how dark things may seem, they are not alone. Like ‘Out Getting Ribs’ there’s some clever use of wordplay used throughout. Particularly with the alliteration of the letter ‘T’, which gives off connotations of a ticking clock, alluding to the passage of time. There’s some great imagery here of Archy writing the track, reflecting on his life as the clock ticks by. It’s a fantastic track that, unlike some of the previous songs in the album, has an optimistic feel to it.

The album reaches its culmination with ‘Easy Easy’, a track that was written by Marshall at the age of fifteen. The song focuses on Marshall being harassed by the police, as well as being ripped off by his local Tesco. Despite writing the track at a young age, Marshall's excellent song-writing ability still shines through here. This song does well in reflecting the difficulties often faced with adolescence. Like all the tracks in the album, it’s a fantastic song, and it feels fitting that one of Archy’s earliest works is the track to bring the album to a finish.

‘You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down’  is a fantastic live album and the accompanying short film is just as good. It lets old fans experience the tour that never was, whilst also letting others discover Krule for the first time. Archy Marshall is a fantastically talented musician, and his music always manages to pull on the heartstrings.

 Liam Russell


Image: ‘You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down’ Official Album Cover 

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