:: A very good friend of mine recently passed away, and everything on this triumph of an album makes me think of her!
It’s not even two years since Chicago-based singer/producer Tom Krell aka How To Dress Well released his marvellous, acclaimed sophomore album Total Loss – an album which ranks high among my all-time favourites. Krells music is often associated with Neo-Soul or Contemporary R&B, but on his new and third LP What Is This Heart? – also described as his most ambitious and honest work to date – he proves that it’s so much more than that.
What Is This Heart? was released internationally on June 23, 2014 via Weird World Records/Domino Recording Co. Australia and New Zealand already saw its release on June 19. The album is available as download, CD and deluxe LP. The deluxe package includes mp3 download code and comes with double heavyweight 180g vinyl of the album in a deluxe gatefold sleeve with a 28-page booklet and a one-side etched 10″ vinyl containing the exclusive non-album tracks Let U Know and So Easy for Pleasure. You can buy the set digitally from iTunes or order your physical copy directly from Weird World Records.
The album of twelve songs is entirely written by Tom Krell. On What You Wanted and A Power (my album favourite), he collaborated with Mike Silver and Words I Don’t Remember was written together with producer Rodaidh McDonald who also produced the album with Krell in a Berlin studio during the height of summer 2013. McDonald also oversaw the production of Total Loss.
In a fantastic recent interview with SPIN, Krell commented on working with McDonald: “I learned a lot from working with Rodaidh about how to do things in the studio. With this record, I had a demoed record that basically was at the level, in terms of quality of sound, ofTotal Loss. I was in Toronto, and Rodaidh was there, and he was like, “I’m so excited to work on this.” And I was like, “I don’t know if I’m going to work on it anymore — I think it might be done.” And he was like, “No, dude, let’s go in and detail absolute everything.” And then I started thinking about what it would mean to undertake something like that. Because it’s a slippery slope. If you start detailing one thing then it starts sticking out like a sore thumb, and eventually you have to pore over every detail. […] So we spent eight weeks re-recording, repurposing, transforming every bit of the record. I’ve never worked so hard on anything in my life.” You definitely should check out the whole feature.
Face Again is the third single taken from What Is This Heart?, it follows the previously released Words I Don’t Remember and Repeat Pleasure. The song comes with another impressive music video directed and edited by Norwegian director Johannes Greve Muskat. The clip was written by Tom Krell, Luke Gilford and Muskat and is the second installment of the What Is This Heart? short film trilogy. It was shot in the Californian desert and is further exploring “what happens when people take a risk, when people try to live and die right”. Check it out above.
Krell recently released the No Words To Say mixtape on his Soundcloud exploring songs which influenced and inspired him for What Is This Heart?. Krell will also be touring North America throughout August and September. You can check out the upcoming dates and the mixtape below.
01. 2 Years On (Shame Dream)
02. What You Wanted
03. Face Again
04. See You Fall
05. Repeat Pleasure
06. Words I Don’t Remember
07. Pour Cyril
08. Precious Love
09. Childhood Faith in Love (Everything Must Change, Everything Must Stay the Same)
10. A Power
11. Very Best Friend
12. House Inside (Future is Older than the Past)
Upcoming Tour Dates:
Thu 21 Aug 2014 // San Diego, CA, USA // Casbah
Fri 22 Aug 2014 // Los Angeles, CA, USA // First Unitarian Church
Sat 23 Aug 2014 // Monterey, CA, USA // First City Festival
Sun 24 Aug 2014 // Monterey, CA, USA // First City Festival
Mon 25 Aug 2014 // Portland, OR, USA // Holocene
Tue 26 Aug 2014 // Vancouver, BC, Canada // Fortune Sound Club
Wed 27 Aug 2017 // Seattle, WA, USA // Neumos
>> The full touring schedule is available here.
Slant Magazine – Review: How to Dress Well – What Is This Heart?
SPIN − Q&A: How To Dress Well’s Tom Krell On Finding Hope In A Godless Universe [Interview]
More ‘How To To Dress Well’ on Music Pickings:
2014, May 13 − New Music Video: Repeat Pleasure
2014, Mar 19 − New Single: Words I Don’t Remember (2014/03/07)
2013, Dec 27 − Listen: Teenage Spaceship [Cover Version]
2013, May 22 – Jacques Greene feat. How To Dress Well – On Your Side
2012, Aug 16 – New Album: Total Loss (2012/09/17) [Full Album Stream]
2012, Aug 31 − Cold Nites (Koreless Remix) / New Album ‘Total Loss’
2012, July 23 − Cold Nites / New Album ‘Total Loss’ Announced