Saturday, December 14th, 2013

AMNESTY 2013: King Krule – Easy Easy

We carry on into Saturday with one of the Sounds of 2013…


Rebecca A. Gowns: King Krule uses the details of his time and place — the Bobby on the beat, the dead-end job, the Tesco — to express something universal: the moment of grace amid struggle. The lyrics are so particular, and so small, that they could have been ripped verbatim from a teen diary entry. Shaped as they are in King Krule’s voice, rumbling and raw, and hovering in this sparse production, the words are transformed; the adolescent enervation becomes fuller, more tangible. And then, from the muck of anxiety, something blooms: the chorus reverberates, and the thin boy walking down the cold streets of London becomes a torch, warm and glowing.

Madeleine Lee: The skill here is in the balance of contradictions, using contrast to throw the main point into relief. It’s a song about hopelessness in a heart-stirring major key (“if you’re going through hell, just keep going”), and its emotional peak is also the point where it empties out sonically, a scream of frustration let loose into a void that dulls to a self-conscious mumble.

Anthony Easton: The only thing I feel guilty about is how I am often morally exhorted by works who intended to do that task. Feeling good after feel good makes me dirty. This didn’t even give me the frisson of shame.

Juana Giaimo: There is a certain bestiality in King Krule’s voice that doesn’t match with the minimalistic instrumentation. Maybe the disgust in his words should be enough to contain that raw and emotional side, but really, sometimes I wish he would shut up.

Scott Mildenhall: Realism on the sparsest of sets. Not a compliment when the Pet Shop Boys said it, and not here either. The lyrics’ stench of “I saw the trailer of a Shane Meadows film once” isn’t far off The Enemy’s “We’ll Live And Die In These Towns”, and people laughed at them; at least that actually had its urgency, conviction and production going for it. “Easy Easy” just sounds as if Jamie T decided to sabotage the remainder of his record deal. Even Jake Bugg is preferable to this.

Iain Mew: If we must have guitar led tales of gritty realness by teenage guys I’ll take this over Jake Bugg‘s any time. There’s at least something approaching new in the wide open rawness of “Easy Easy” and its tender guitar playing. King Krule’s gurning vocal style is as indigestible as his week out of date sandwich, though.

Patrick St. Michel: WANTED: Lovely skeletal song seeks singer. No need to be professional or even particularly good, but would prefer if you didn’t sound intentionally bad.

Katherine St Asaph: A little surf-rock, by which I mean I think a shark tore out his throat.

Brad Shoup: You know the rumor that Jandek was some neglected rich kid whose dad threw a guitar into the basement? I often think of that when I listen to King Krule. “Easy Easy” is maybe the most Corwoodian track on the record: a propulsive, twangy low-ender with text that scans like Arctic Monkeys liner notes run through the dryer. Don’t mistake me, though: the lonely burnout thing is my catnip, and this thing’s got an actual chorus. And what sounds like an EBow plucks this thing off its plateau. It shatters my fragile illusion that HRH improvised it all, but the song’s the thing.

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: Billy Bragg-esque in its stark, guitar-led drawling, but grimmer in delivery and imbued with sensitively applied ambient swirling. At its core, there’s a barked line that’s either hopelessly bleak or a positive affirmation: “If you going through hell, we just keep going”. It’s “just because you’re going forwards, doesn’t mean I’m going backwards” again, but more resilient twenty years on.

Alfred Soto: He’s got a sound: a vibrating basso and strummed electric guitar (imagine a bullfrog singing Billy Bragg songs). The songs will come soon. 

Reader average: [7.25] (4 votes)

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6 Responses to “AMNESTY 2013: King Krule – Easy Easy”

  1. rebecca’s blurb is fantastic.

  2. I concur! I liked this a good deal but couldn’t get around to blurbing.

  3. Thanks guys!

    Stray notes:

    – King Krule reminds me of another wunderkind, James Blake; both of them are dedicated, making all their own music (in their humble beginnings) from their bedrooms and laptops. King Krule is the blue collar version to be sure, as he’s had several pieces that have been entirely scrapped, because before this album, he only used free trial versions of audio software. The circumstances referred to in the song are real: he’s living with his parents and was, at the time, working a dead-end retail job for pocket change with no future prospects.

    – Accordingly, this song reminds me a lot of the movie “Kes.” No need for embellishments — just tell the story, just get through the day, and if you survive, you may yet fly, even if only for a moment.

    – The “if you’re going through hell, just keep going” is a bit of pep via Churchill, which adds to the very particular Englishness of the song.

    – I don’t think his voice is all that bad, and wonder: is it more the marble-effect of his drawl that turns people off, or the timbre of his voice? I rather like both, personally, I’m just curious. He’s in tune, he just has the kind of voice you don’t often hear.

    – Another random note: Tyler the Creator is quite fond of this kid. He’s been seen hanging out around the OFWGKTA crew a lot this past year. This doesn’t influence me in any way, I just think it’s cute to see “weirdo” kids on the edges of the industry befriending each other.

  4. Did he write it when he had a job? Because I’ve seen a few sources saying he wrote it when he was 12. I don’t know, I feel quite bad about being so down on this in the way I was, I don’t want to deny a person their experiences and self and whatnot, but I just felt it was a rather clumsy attempt at making something Gritty and Real that would grate regardless of the author. Which is probably unfair.

    But if lyrics weren’t a thing that existed I might well have given it the same score, so I suppose it’s not too bad.

  5. I reckon he wrote it when he was 18, as most of the lyrics are things happening in his life at the time. Most of what I googled supported that; I didn’t find anything for keywords “king krule 12.”

    I can understand where you’re coming from! I can totally see how this wouldn’t be someone’s cup of tea. Myself, I think this is one of the best songs I’ve heard this year.

  6. This MTV article with quotes from him says he wrote it aged 12 (something I saw repeated on its Songfacts page and in this interview). He doesn’t explicitly confirm it, but (in the interview, where it’s presented to him) he doesn’t correct it either, so I took it as true.

    Different strokes with the song though, I’m sure he’ll get by just fine without my approval.