To make it clear, this is NOT a blog post about neither clothes nor fashion or the hottest trends even if the title indicate something like it!
So, what is How To Dress Well?
Behind the sentence “how to dress well” is just another weird band name. I call it weird because the name could be the heading of a fashion magazine article, or maybe a blog post. The first thing that popped into my mind when I read the band name in a review of their latest album was something like; Was the name chosen to be found in search engines like Google? So I had to do a test and entered “how to dress well” in Google search field and pushed the search button…and too my big surprise the first thing I got up is the homepage of the band/artist – and other pages with articles about the group.
In other words; What a good choice of band name!
I found that How To Dress Well is not a band name, but the stage name of just one man, Tom Krell. He is also a graduate philosophy student and releases his music through small independent labels like Wierd World Records / Domino Records and Asephale Records.
Where can you listen to How To Dress Well?
Tom Krell has so far released two albums under his alter ego How To Dress Well.
The debut album “Love Remains” (left) was released back in 2010, his second and best album so far is out these days (released September 2012) and is named “Total Loss” (right). Note: I focus on the latest album in this blogpost.
You´ll also find a great amount of mixtapes online that gives you a fine introduction to the music that inspires the sound of How To Dress Well. I’ll link to them at the bottom of this page.
How does How To Dress Well sound?
First of all – make sure you hear the album “Total Loss” on a stereo with a good pair of loudspeakers. Or sit down – even better lay down with a pair of headphones. Pump up the volume and let yourself be drawn into the soft and warm sound of “Total Loss”
Lurking in the shadows of soft dubstep and R&B names like James Blake and the soulful landscape of Jamie Woon – a line can also be drawn to The Weeknd. This is the easiest way to describe how How To Dress Well sounds.
The voice mostly falsetto – very soulful, multi-tracked voice, a bit like Bon Iver but with way better falsetto and airy piano not to far from the ambient, classical sounds of Craig Armstrong (the conductor of Massive Attacks “Protection” record and the original score to movies like Romeo & Juliet. Craig Armstrong has also released numerous records under his own name. All slow, orchestral, choral, ambient – soulful and soothing like trip hop at its best) But you also find danceable and funkier sounds on the “Total Loss” album. Even soul singers like the soft voice of Maxwell to more contemporary soul like Maria Carey can seem like a musical influence. Sometimes it sounds like a whole choir has entered the studio – other times it´s just one single voice singing in an empty church. The whole production is smoother, more open, maybe airy is the right description?! I can even hear inspiration from the orchestral part of Prince AOR ballad “Purple Rain” and some inspiration from “Nothing Compares To You” – but not the Sinead O´Connor version or Prince´ own version but the strings and almost a cappella original version by Prince protegé band The Family. If you happen love James Blakes cover of Feist “Limit To Your Love” and Jamie Woons stripped soulful productions; You´ll love to hear How To Dress Wells floating sounds, and their use of echoes, claps, soundscapes and beat boxing and throat voices layer upon layer to create this dream-like soul music.
Tom Krell and How To Dress Well should and could be this years Jamie Woon or Bon Iver. The record everyone should have!
His music might as well can be described as the best soundtrack to a film that has never been made! You wish never ends…until its over in just 46 minutes
As promised; The mixtapes! Instead of me writing page up and page down of references to the sound of Tom Krell and How To Dress Well listen to and/or download his mixes. Read more about the tracks and mixtapes here:
- Transmissions From A Wistful Place (stream/download) from Something For All Of Us website
- The World Is Ugly And The People Are Wierd (stream/download) from DisMagazine
- Tri-Angle Records Mix (stream) from Wire
- Change Yourself Mix (download) from The Fader
- HRSDVRS030 (stream/download) from Hors D´oeuvres website
- FactMix 347 (stream/download) from found on the Pidgeons And Planes website
There is so many mixtapes out there online, and gives you, the reader and listener, a great insight into the world of How To Dress Well – search and you shall find!
You can follow and read more about How To Dress Well on his own pages!
I am so glad that How To Dress Well and Tom Krell don’t deal with style,
and instead he choose do steal and borrow with style!