How to Dress Well

“What Is This Heart?”

Weird World

Jun 13, 2014 Issue #50 - June/July 2014 - Future Islands Bookmark and Share


"The only bad part about flying is having to come back down to the fuckin' world." The Streetwise-sampled words found on Tom Krell's second full-length album as How to Dress Well have lost no potency in the two years since we first heard them. In fact, even though intended as a much deeper insight, those words resonate with our feelings towards Krell's new album: the only bad part about "What Is This Heart?" is having to come back down afterwards.

As to be expected from Krell, "What Is This Heart?" is less an album, more a conversation. It's an emotional exchange between lovers, a private internal dialogue informed by personal anguish, a cathartic public confession, and a joyously redemptive shout from the rooftops. Written on the road and given shape in Berlin by producer Rodaidh McDonald (Vampire Weekend, The xx, Savages, Adele), the 12 tracks deal in anxiety, fear, love, pride, trust, and shame in equal measure.

"What Is This Heart?" may find itself in the same kind of intimate territory as Total Loss and Love Remains, but sonically it feels more organic. Krell's tactile electronic textures remain, of courseas beguiling and poignant as everbut a wider instrumental palette has been brought into the fold, resulting in his most ambitious and addictive album to date. (www.howtodresswell.com)

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