Thursday, June 23, 2011

Suicide Dream 3

Photo by Narelle Autio

I'll have to say, it took me awhile to get into How To Dress Well’s 2010 debut, Love Remains. Lo-fi R&B is not really something I’m all that versed in, but HTDW’s main man Tom Krell certainly is. At first I had trouble wading through all the layers of effects, the super minimalistic production and the blown-speaker vocals. It just wasn’t coming together like it should. All the passion and emotion was there in Krell’s crooning, but it was like the rest of the music was holding it all back. Regardless of what I think about the album now (totally rules, go buy it), my initial reaction was that Krell had tremendous potential, but was wasting a lot of it with his execution. I was just a little unsure if the guy was really any good, or just some sort of shtick. Oh, how I was wrong. Enter How To Dress Well’s newest EP, Just Once.

The EP is a reimagining of Krell’s work, and it’s absolutely stunning. The songs are stripped down, performed in an orchestral setting, and void of the endless layers of effects and samples. On Suicide Dream 3, the vocals are front and center in the mix, with Krell exuding an almost Antony-like persona at times. The song is absolutely gorgeous and is terribly heart wrenching, stemming from both the music and the subject matter – it’s a tribute to Krell’s late friend. Stream Suicide Dream 3 and pre-order the release over at Love Letter Ink's Bandcamp.

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