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R&B/Soul - Released June 23, 2014 | Weird World

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How to Dress Well has proven more versatile than its gauzy early days suggested, when Tom Krell pursued a very specific, very stylized sound that nevertheless pointed the way for many other artists mixing R&B and indie. He stretched his boundaries further with his second album, Total Loss, which traded Love Remains' artful distortion for a streamlined approach that sometimes felt caught between where he'd been and where he was going. His destination becomes clear on What Is This Heart?, a wondering, musing title for an unapologetically sprawling album that explores the facets of love, loss, trust, and doubt. Reuniting with Total Loss producer Rodaidh McDonald, Krell sounds more natural and confident than ever before, even though this is his most ambitious work yet. He gives new dimensions to the impressionism that graced Love Remains and to a lesser extent, Total Loss; instead of shaping static and echoes into sonic cathedrals, he uses orchestral flourishes, as on "Pour Cyril," where a string section becomes even more massive with copious amounts of reverb. Similarly, the stream-of-consciousness moments that once blurred together remain discrete, giving Krell the space for some of his most eclectic songs. He mixes dubstep and strings on the anguished "Face Again," then follows it with "See You Fall," a luminous ballad driven by acoustic guitar and piano. He also embraces '80s and '90s R&B even more fully than before on highlights such as the crisp, catchy "Very Best Friend" and "Repeat Pleasure," which takes its HAIM-esque sheen to rapturous heights that make it one of How to Dress Well's finest moments. Above all, the songs on What Is This Heart? are rangy, allowing for plenty of introspection and showcasing Krell's accomplished vocals on songs like "What You Wanted," which moves from worried to serene, and from intimate to epic. As the album unfurls, he spends more time with the more abstract side of his music: "Words I Don't Remember" updates Love Remains' collage-like layers and juxtapositions to achingly beautiful effect, while "Childhood Faith in Love"'s bubbling sonics telegraph its heady romance. By the time the album closes with Krell crooning "the world is such a pretty thing," he's taken listeners on a masterfully balanced tour of his sounds and moods. An immersive album that feels designed to be taken as a whole, What Is This Heart? reveals How to Dress Well coming into its own. ~ Heather Phares
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Electronic/Dance - Released October 19, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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R&B/Soul - Released June 27, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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R&B/Soul - Released September 23, 2016 | Weird World

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On Care, How to Dress Well's Tom Krell continues to bring his songs out of the mist, a process he began on Total Loss. With each album, his music has more closely resembled the pop and R&B of the late '80s and early '90s that initially inspired him, and now it feels like the mirror twin of 2010s pop. Krell doubles down on a radio-friendly sound on Care, and his collaborations with producers such as Jack Antonoff, Dre Skull, CFCF, and Kara-Lis Coverdale underscore just how porous the boundaries between the mainstream and the underground were when he made the album. The Antonoff co-production "Lost Youth/Lost You" is a highlight, borrowing some Top 40 gloss even as it retains a bigness and strangeness that most charting artists lack. Now that the fog has lifted from his music, Krell sounds more earnest than ever. The tropical pop of "What's Up" feels like the highbrow yet heartfelt flipside of Justin Bieber's "Sorry," while Krell's own apology song, "I Was Terrible," is head over heels, ready for a slow-motion reunion between lovers in a movie (or perhaps just the movie in Krell's head). As the title Care suggests, the album's perspective on love falls somewhere between feeling and healing. While Krell is just as philosophical as he was on What Is This Heart?, he's ready to act on his emotions -- or not act on them, if the situation calls for it: Described by Krell as "consent pop," "Can't You Tell" is an endearingly awkward reminder to respect one's lover as a person, not an object of lust. Care returns to more experimental territory as it unfolds, balancing moments of freeform beauty with more structured songwriting. The string-driven coda and virtuosic guitar solos on "Salt Song" hark back to What Is This Heart?'s ambitions; "The Ruins" dives into abstract R&B, and the sprawling 11-minute "They'll Take Everything You Have" tempers distorted electronics with a majestic piano that would make Bruce Hornsby proud. Impressively, Krell continues to find new approaches within his style; even though Care's clarity is the polar opposite of Love Remains, it feels equally true. ~ Heather Phares
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R&B/Soul - Released September 10, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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R&B/Soul - Released October 27, 2014 | Weird World

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R&B/Soul - Released October 12, 2010 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 15, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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Electronic/Dance - Released July 28, 2017 | Weird World

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R&B/Soul - Released July 27, 2016 | Weird World

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Electronic/Dance - Released July 25, 2017 | Weird World

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R&B/Soul - Released July 13, 2017 | Weird World

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R&B/Soul - Released October 27, 2014 | Weird World

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R&B/Soul - Released June 6, 2014 | Weird World

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R&B/Soul - Released April 4, 2014 | Weird World

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R&B/Soul - Released March 7, 2014 | Weird World

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Electronic/Dance - Released August 31, 2016 | Weird World

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R&B/Soul - Released September 20, 2016 | Weird World

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