20 Dec 2015

Archy Marshall / A New Place 2 Drown (album review)


Without any moniker, Archy Marshall, along with his older brother Jack Marshall, have created the three part project A New Place 2 Drown which includes; a book which showcases the poetry and artwork of Archy and Jack, a 12 track soundtrack from Archy and a short film made by a collaboration with Will Robson-Scott.

The album featuring new music from Archy Marshall (King Krule, Zoo Kid, DJ JD Sports, Edgar The Beatmaker) is very different from any of his other projects. Similarly to how 90s hip hop reflected the dangers of America in their music, how the Manchester scene reflected the gloominess of Northern England, A New Place 2 Drown reflects the dreariness of South London. But by no means is this album dreary - tying in elements of trip hop, post punk and trap beats, the tracks on A New Place 2 Drown are diverse.

From the very beginning the album is really atmospheric with the hazey chords and synths in Any God Of Yours and the distorted vocals in New Builds.Unlike King Krule’s work there are not many definite melodies or guitar riffs however there are still clever lyrics on top of all the complex drum tracks and sound layers. On tracks like Swell, Arise Dear Brother and Sex With Nobody there are very prominent insights into Archy’s mind, like his nonchalant outlook on romance in Arise Dear Brother: “Even though you fucked him I don’t really give a shit”.

Ammi Ammi with Jamie Isaac is a highlight with its laid back downtempo feel. Differently to the other tracks on the album, there is a solid chorus in this track with the repetition of “we just want to let things roll by” where there is more exploration of pitch than the usual baritone murmurs.

Archy Marshall has professed a love for artists of old school hip-hop like Wu-Tang Clan,Snoop Dogg and Nas, and tracks on this album like Buffed Sky, The Sea Liner MK 1 and Empty Vessels get closer to this style than King Krule ever did. As the album progresses the mood gets increasingly sullen and smokey reaching into darker sides of both Archy Marshall’s creativity and feelings.

Finishing the album on an impressive 7 minute song, Thames Water, this track includes all the elements in the album. With beats that allude to the area's budding grime sceneThames Water ties the album off nicely.

If you go into listening to this album expecting another 6 Feet Beneath The Moon you won’t be overjoyed, however, this is a different project to King Krule so rightly Archy Marshall has explored different styles, techniques and genres. Marshall has not left behind some key features of King Krule like the vocal style or relaxed drum tracks.
A New Place 2 Drown is quite unique and interesting especially alongside the book and film. Personally I really like the album for its individuality, and it was certainly a pleasant surprise that he went in new directions from King Krule (but equally a follow up to 6 Feet Beneath The Moon would be appreciated).

8.0/10

The film can be watched and the book purchased on
http://www.anewplace2drown.com

(written by isobel mcleod)