King Krule at the Independent

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Aidin Vaziri | Everyone knew it was coming, but it still felt like a wallop. The moment Archy Marshall, the British singer-songwriter who records under the name King Krule, took the stage at the Independent and opened his mouth – out came a staggering croak that was a mixture of crushed gravel, broken glass and a rumbling steam train. That voice. There’s nothing else quite like it in pop music at the moment.

When he sings, he sounds so wizened that you would never guess Marshall turned 19 in August, on the same day he released King Krule’s debut album, “6 Feet Beneath the Moon.” Playing the second of two sold-out concerts at the San Francisco venue, the 6-foot-1 South Londoner appeared even younger up close. He was wearing a shirt that was too large and pants that were too small, and was accompanied by a group of musicians who looked like truants from jazz camp. They may have been, too.

Marshall’s music, on the other hand, sounded impossibly mature. It was as jarring as his voice, built around languid guitar riffs, skittering drum ‘n’ bass rhythms and fluid jazz chords. A lot of it sounded as if it had been produced by accident, which, considering that some of the songs go as far back as when Marshall was 8 years old, is just fine.

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