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A King in Paradise

By Rhoda Yun

Photography courtesy of Rhoda Yun

Two weeks since the release of his latest album The Ooz, King Krule debuted his long-awaited comeback at Paradise Rock Club in Boston. Attracting more attention than his previous album 6 Feet Beneath The Ground, his recent release proved to be a massive success. The singer showed immense growth from his years of absence and the new album embodied a refined version of the distinctive sound so many of his old fans adored.

“I put my trust in many things but now I know that's dumb,” he said of his previous naivety in his track “Vidual” from his new album. Fans new and old swarmed the venue, causing the show to sell out right away.

Show Me The Body, a hardcore trio from New York City, started off the show with an aggression that captivated an unsuspecting audience. Few were familiar with the group and their experimental take on hardcore rap. With their lead vocals on banjo, the trio both confused and fixated their listeners. Unsure of whether or not they should immerse themselves into the music or simply observe, a majority of the audience stood frozen in awe. The mix of banjo, bass and drums amalgamated into a force untamable by none other than King Krule, whose cradling sound surprisingly complemented the aftermath of band’s cataclysmic vibe.

Standing front and center, his slender figure emerged with the iconic hollows of his cheeks. Harsh lines were muted to neon purples and reds as King Krule bobbed off into the ripples of his mind, eyes closed. Earnestly poetic and so deeply damaged, King Krule delivered a show that disclosed his truth. His vocals, brutal in deliverance but velvet in tone, hypnotized the crowd. Oscillating between his more vivacious tunes like “Easy Easy” to his heart-wrenching ballads like “Baby Blue,” King Krule juggled the emotions of his audience to exhaustion. The crowd, longing to be immersed in his isolated world, consented.

“Is anybody out there?” he said to his crowd, lapsed in his own exile. Creating an impenetrable barrier between himself and his audience, he was able to maintain a mysterious façade. As an enigma to an audience that longs to understand, people can’t help but be drawn in.

Seemingly in perpetual heartbreak, he was open about his pain. King Krule exhibited his mastery of crooning, groaning and lamenting his pain into coherent melodies. Shifting from talking as himself to talking about himself, he reflects with pity.

“My head's in all kinds of a mess,” he sang. “That boy he's just a puke stain.” His voice quivers at his command, telling his story with authority.

Now sober from his previous blunders, he recollects his memories in the solitude of his mind. He delivers his revelations through his poetry, which he then performs in tandem with his music. Though he remains the young boy naive to love that his fans adored, his newfound style showcases a vast maturation.

His track “Czech One” reveals his naivety. “Loverboy, you drown too quick,” he said. Naivety of love and the pain that results is an element of King Krule that could never be extracted without destroying the very core of his character.

His music functioning as a religion and his fans as his disciples, King Krule reigned over the stage. Oblivious to his own power, he delivered a performance humble to its own sovereignty. At the end of the night, there was not one person in the crowd that had not been converted.

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