King Krule debuts “Space Heavy” tour in ATL

King Krule is bathed in purple light during the performance with his live band supporting in the background. The show was an exploration of his discography through his many years of work. // Photo by Liz French Student Publications

Archy Marshall, better known as his stage name King Krule, had his debut performance in Atlanta on Sept. 8. He began his tour in July for his latest album, “Space Heavy,” released on June 9 of this year.

The set was simple; only a few large pieces of fabric, depicting artwork from his most recent album cover, draped the back wall. As the show went on, bright, contrasting lights made the backdrop appear two dimensional, almost cartoon-like. Marshall himself resembled a graphic novel character, with hot pinks and deep blues taking the place of highlights and shadows.

Marshall played a variety of songs from his previous projects, including “The OOZ,” “6 Feet Beneath The Moon” and “Man Alive!”

He opened with a few tracks from “Man Alive!” — most notably “Cellular,” the opening track of the album. The eerie vocals and lingering bass contrasted the first song he played from the new album, “Pink Shell,” which culminates with Marshall’s raspier vocals singing, “I am waiting for someone / I have not seen them anywhere.”

“Dum Surfer,” a popular track from his 2017 project, “The OOZ,” included deep background vocals, contrasted by jazzy instrumentals, from the live band.

Marshall then played a few tracks from “Space Heavy.” As he started out with a few slower, softer songs, “Flimsier” and “Seagirl,” Marshall’s calm voice was refreshing to hear. The latter song originally includes a feature from Raveena, but she was not present for the performance; the saxophone replaced her mystical vocals, adding a different flair to the live rendition.

The most upbeat song Marshall played was an older track called “A Lizard State.” This title is filled with the saxophone riffs and jazzy undertones that define the album. He compares himself to a cold-blooded reptile, longing for the warmth of someone. Within “A Lizard State,” Marshall sang the lyric, “It’s not fair, baby blue.” This line is a callback to “Baby Blue,” a sweeter love song.

He continued playing new releases, including “Empty Stomach Space Cadet,” a metaphor for letting go of his younger self who was consumed by depression and loneliness (much of what can be heard on “The OOZ”). The song also features audio clips of a young girl, presumed to be his daughter, singing.

The performance would not be complete without Marshall playing the remaining tracks of the album: “Our Vacuum,” “Seaforth,” “From The Swamp” and “If Only It Was Warmth.”

To conclude his “Man Alive!” songs, Marshall played the infamous “Stoned Again,” a song that does not require much interpretation. Paired with his yelling vocals and intense strobe lights, the performance was truly an immersive experience. 

Two of his most well known songs, “Easy Easy” and “Baby Blue” were saved for last. The entire crowd sang along with Marshall, playing deeply into the nostalgia of their teenage years.

Of course, the encore song was none other than “Out Getting Ribs,” the song that blew up from the release of Marshall’s 2013 album, “6 Feet Beneath the Moon.” The opening of the song was played with a sitar — the first time the instrument had been out on stage. This contrasted greatly from the recorded version, which mostly featured electric guitar with reverb.

Marshall and his band delivered an unexpectedly breathtaking performance; the saxophone player being a highlight of the show. If King Krule makes his way back to Atlanta, getting a ticket is a must as it will surely be an unforgettable performance.