Concert Preview: How to Dress Well comes to U Street Music Hall

Vox encourages you to celebrate the end of a horrendous (not to mention abominably snowy and cold) midterm season by seeing How to Dress Well at U Street Music Hall this Saturday.

Producer and singer of How to Dress Well, Tom Krell, began his music career in 2009 when he moved from Brooklyn to Berlin and publicized his digital EPs over the Internet. The breathtaking and poignant falsetto quality to his voice along with his broken, digitized R&B were well received by listeners due to its avante-garde sound. Actually, his sound is so unique that it his hard to categorize his music in any specific genre.

With album titles Love Remains and Total Loss, you might guess that Krell’s music is profoundly emotional. Nonetheless, the upbeat and bass-driven background R&B influences in the music make it easy to move to as well. Krell is most praised for the “tactile sensation” and intense realness of his music. The things he sings about are almost always real people in his life, which is most obvious in the way he addresses the subjects of his music. For example, “during the penultimate apologia [of Total Loss] “Set It Right”, he provides a roll call: Ryan, Dan, Mama, Grandma, Francey, Robbie, Nicky, and the list goes on.”

Total Loss is an album about real heartbreak that Krell experienced throughout his writing period. It was heartbreak in the sense that he felt disappointed and alone in relationships he depended upon, whether with his mother, grandmother, or other family and friends. In regards to specific tracks like “Cold Nites” and “When I Was in Trouble” critics speculate whether Krell’s intention is “trying to find relief in hurting himself or others.” He’s angry, confused, sad, and deeply hurt, and that’s clear to audiences and listeners. However, rest assured he won’t let his sadness and intense emotion penetrate all of the songs of his set. For example, in “& It Was U,” to disguise a failing relationship, Krell harmonizes over his own voice with a double recording, which gradually builds with the quickening beat of the song, creating a swing-style track.

If you’re as intrigued by Tom Krell’s sound as Vox is, purchase tickets for the March 22nd show for $15 here.

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