Archy Marshall is best known as King Krule. A native of London, Marshall’s peculiar blend of gritty but witty songwriting and erratic baritone vocals led to early comparisons to various punk forebears like Joe Strummer and Shane MacGowan. When compared to these and other figures who didn’t find their footing until their mid-twenties, Marshall was still just a teenager.
Marshall didn’t take long to establish his uniqueness, with elements of no wave, punk jazz, dub, and hip-hop rapidly ingesting his sound (which was further defined by his jagged style of rhythm guitar) and giving color to his poetic trash narratives. Marshall began writing and recording before the age of 12, and at 14, he won the unsigned artist competition at the 2008 Glastonbury Festival.
In 2010, he went by the the name Zoo Kid and released the U.F.O.W.A.V.E. EP exclusively for digital download, from which the House Anxiety label released the songs “Out Getting Ribs” and “Has This Hit” on 7″ vinyl. Marshall later adopted the moniker King Krule after the Elvis Presley movie King Creole and made a comeback in 2011 with a self-titled EP for the True Panther Sounds label, which is owned by Matador Records. He released a one-off track for Rinse the next year and was nominated for the BBC Sound of 2013 the same year.
Marshall has released three albums as King Krule, including the Mercury Prize-nominated The Ooz (2017) and Man Alive!, in addition to his mid-teens Zoo Kid output and a later recording under his birth name (2020). In 2021, he released his debut live CD, You Heat Me Up to Cool Me Down. Marshall’s parents were artists, and he is a native of Southwark. He grew up seeing his uncle Ollie Howard perform in the ska band Top Cats because he is the godson of drummer Dave Ruffy (Ruts).