Features | Awards

The Damian Lewis Award for Breaking the Ginger Color Barrier in the Arts

By Corey Beasley | 10 December 2013

King Krule :: 6 Feet Beneath the Moon

In 2012, British actor Damian Lewis won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Sgt. Nicholas Brody on Homeland. Impressive enough, sure, but wait: Lewis also happens to be a redhead. Yeah. One of those. With all the trimmings. He has ginger-colored hair caused, as any schoolyard bully can recite verbatim to his victims, by a mutation in the MC1R protein on the recessive genes in his 16th chromosome. He has pale skin dotted with freckles. And, if the general trend is to be trusted, pinkish areolae. Lewis’s victory at the Emmys was a victory for gingers everywhere, a signal that we had finally arrived on the national stage and would be treated with the dignity accorded to such an historic accomplishment. This year, his fellow Brit, Archy Marshall, carries the fire, albeit at something of a distance and while wearing a cream with a healthy SPF because who knows how long he’ll have to be in direct exposure to damaging UV rays.

The nineteen-year-old Marshall, all cheekbones and six-foot-plus frame and spindly limbs, released his proper debut as King Krule, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, this year. The record sees him exploring a sound that borrows from all manners of English teenage rebellion music—punk through to hip-hop and onward to dubstep—to create one all his own. He also happens to have beautiful, soft looking red hair. Moon works more or less as variations on a theme, with Marshall’s jittery, jazz-indebted guitar propelling his songs and their heady lyricism forward through oceans of reverb, all anchored by that voice. Oh, that voice. All of this talent is more than enough to guarantee him the keynote spot at 2014’s Annual Conference of Gingers and Ginger Allies (ACGGA), held, cruelly, in Miami Beach. Buy the record and listen to it indoors.

► “Easy Easy”