With the opening of the rainclouds on “Any God Of Yours,” the instrumental is a soaked predator that stalks the listener as this unstoppable and untraceable threat. Through stuttering hi-hats and shifting 808s, Marshall is more of an orchestral genius that strings together each puzzle piece. The burst of lightened mood that peels open on “Swell” rides similar to the escape from said predator where the instrumentation is brightened and Marshall’s vocals are abnormally in uplifted tone.
Every second spent on A New Place 2 Drown is this run-in with a concrete jungle and pouring rain. Where the sunshine can sneak through in moments is often-times then shuttered out by the oppressing water theme with tracks like “Buffed Sky” and “The Sea Liner MK 1” where Marshall is an atmospheric monster. The intimidating synth work on “The Sea Liner MK 1” is similar to this lighthouse that spins on a cycle, but also dwells in the unknown as more instruments are gradually introduced to the mix. And even while most of the tracks here focus more on the eerie performances through sound rather than vocalization, A New Place 2 Drown has this sentiment over the audience.
Where King Krule can be established as lost within one’s own psyche, Archy Marshall’s work is being lost within an unfamiliar setting. It never becomes uncomfortable as a listener, but that threat of danger is seemingly always on the heels and that impending doom lingers even while sometimes, becoming unknowingly closer than expected.
Thankfully, that menacing sense dissipates when the final track “Thames Water” baptizes the mental state of the listener and lets them emerge anew. The storytelling by Marshall is less scattered here and translates effortlessly, describing, “When it rains it fucking pours, sky opens its mouth and spits to the floor. Soaking all of us down to the core, she spent every day escaping thought.” He continues on to illustrate, “Cubicle girl scrambles on all fours, she lost her powers in the powder she adored,” which while still a sullen tale, becomes rejuvenated through Marshall’s angelic vocals and production.
But as A New Place 2 Drown is buried at sea, the restlessness continues and transitions into a repeatable process. Similar to Groundhog Day, every single listen duplicates but one variable is the amount of detail and emotion that becomes uncovered when the dirt is finally washed away from the overbearing discharges of the reservoir.