Friday 13th of the year 2017 gave us not one but two gloomy and broody albums that we could listen to in our bedrooms when it’s already dark outside and your minds starts to wander off…
The releases I’m talking about is the second album by Belgian songwriter and Balthazar-frontman Maarten Devoldere under his new solo name “Warhaus”, which is also the title of the follow-up after his debut album “We fucked a flame into being”.
The other release comes from London wunderkind Archy Marshall, also known as King Krule. “The OOZ” is also his second release under the alias King Krule, while “A new place to drown” came out under his birth name. As the name King Krule had started to collect dust, it was time that he came back with a string of festival appearances and a new record to defend his niche in the world of music.
I will start with the Warhaus album, as it was the album I listened to first on Friday. The first two songs on the record had already been released as singles before and therefore made a good introduction into the rest of the album. First song “Mad World” already is a banger and shows us that Warhaus will continue exactly where they left off. “It’s a mad, mad world if you wanna get it on”, says it all. “Love’s a stranger” is not so mad, but still full of lustful longing and implied indecencies.
“Well Well” also shows a familiar side of Warhaus: the jazzy drums by Balthazar drummer Michiel Balcaen combined with rogue but groovy basslines and the harmonies of Maarten Devoldere and the second vocalist Sylvie Kreusch. Later in the song, the listener also gets to hear guitarist and producer Jasper Maekelberg’s crispy and sharp guitar riffs that always bring a certain discrepancy into the mix.
The fourth song “Control” has already been on many Warhaus live setlists and it’s a pleasure to finally hear a recorded version. It is also an early highlight of the record as has its own magnificent climax. It’s my personal favourite of the record. After this central song of the album comes a quieter song, mostly sung by Sylvie Kreusch.
The second album of Warhaus can be described as a road forward. Maarten Devoldere did not have to change anything of his musical style and just added some more string parts and more depth in some songs. Warhaus are definitely one of the most interesting acts in Europe right now.
King Krule is also a very interesting character that I always admired but never could fully grasp. The same goes for “the OOZ”. I loved his collaboration with Mount Kimbie on “Blue Train Lines” which reminded me why I liked his voice in the first place. It was also quite an experience seeing Archy Marshall performing this song with Mount Kimbie at Dockville Festival. Around that time the first single of the upcoming album was released. “Czech One” which resembles the track “Neptune Estate” on the first album “6 Feet Beneath The Moon”. It also contains a line of lyric referencing “A new place 2 drown”.
Other song titles like “Lonely blue” and “Half man half shark” remind me of songs from his first album, in these cases “Baby Blue” and “A Lizard State”, even though the songs sound different.
Both Warhaus and King Krule are touring UK/Europe this fall.