For me, talent schools are a contentious issue. Does an artist gain or lose merit by attending? What does it mean for their authenticity? Does it even matter? It’s a minefield that shouldn’t have any relevance to what I think about the music, but apparently it does. In King Krule’s case I’m willing to make an exception because despite his Brit School background (the same talent school as Jessie J and Adele) his music is blessed with a mediative quality that appeals to my introverted nature and tugs on the same emotional strings as The XX or Burial. Like both of those artists, Krule’s music is nocturnal and urban in tone, resonating more when walking on dimly lit streets. His style of vocal morphing sounds a little like drunken slurring and will be a barrier for enjoyment for some, to others (and me) he’ll sound intoxicating, there really isn’t any middle ground.
“Bleak Bake” is the best example of these musical traits to date. Emotive lyrics like “I’m pretty sure my mind ran down this line again, only last week,” recall how easy it is to drift off into your own little world whilst commuting during a packed rush hour. Krule backdrops his lyrics with an expert use of repetitive violin modulations. These sharp pockets of sound represent a moment of mind paralysis caused by a combination of commuter induced claustrophobia and too many strands of thought forming at once. It’s something most commuters can relate to and hearing this type of internalisation represented so skilfully is rare indeed. Making any of my own doubts about the dubious authenticity of Krule’s talent school roots ill-founded.