This is dedicated to a Mr. Breen, A Mr. Reed, a Mr. Piney and a Mr. Mood”
The phrase “wise beyond your years,” is tossed around far too frequently. Does any twentysomething even have the right to have those words come out of their mouth in that order?
I’m barely figuring things out myself and I’ve had over two decades to get cracking on that. You wake up. You eat maybe two, maybe three times before you fall asleep. Hopefully. Interacting with the people you love, experiencing some form of stimulation, reflecting long enough on yourself to grow as a person; all that’s extra credit. Good job, gold star.
King Krule, the nom de plume of 18-year-old Archy Marshall, has been on this planet for shorter period of time than a lot of you reading this. But his songwriting would lead me to think that not a single second has been wasted. If “Rock Bottom” is any indication, he’s spent a good bit of his waking hours soaking in as much music as he possibly could. The song isn’t timeless or someplace out of time but it manages to nod at its influences while staying utterly contemporary. It’s one the only tracks I know of that might draw influence from the two great Orbisons, Roy and Joy. The jazzy, jangly guitar might dominate the track it’s really the cooing keyboards that add that extra layer of meaning to the instrumentals. You can even hear an infatuation with very British electronics when the stuttering drums kick in.
So, about that premature enlightenment. Clever as Krule might be, his heart still has the reigns. Listening to this I’m tugged along in a few different directions. Another day’s journey. We let ourselves get pulled through the ringer with the end result too far away to be seen. At one point Marshall is talking about sore wounds in pockets and “lying dead on the floor,” and people are being lost through lies. But then he assures you that “you’re lucky this time,” before he resigns himself to the fact that, “something that was not meant to be is done.” When we’re young, we might not take all the lessons we should from our heartaches and low moments. We might linger a bit too in the dark places but be brightened up for reasons we can’t understand. I loved this song at first because it reminded me of how I could feel when I was younger. Then I realized that I haven’t stopped feeling this way yet.