How to Dress Well

How to Dress Well is the stage name of Tom Krell, an American multimedia artist, singer-songwriter, and producer from Boulder, Colorado. His experimental musical work has engaged with styles like ambient music and experimental electronic music. Krell also gained recognition under the tag of alternative R&B, although he has spoken about how this is not something he stands behind. Krell's initial releases were lo-fi, sometimes gothic or depressive, and impressionistic.

How to Dress Well
Birth nameTom Krell
BornBoulder, Colorado, U.S.
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, producer
Years active2009–present

He began releasing music independently through his own blog around 2009, but began releasing on labels like Tri Angle, Lefse Records, Weird World and eventually Domino later on in his career. He is currently working on his sixth LP and touring behind his 2018 LP The Anteroom.


Early life and educationEdit

Krell was born in Boulder, Colorado. He is a high school dropout, finishing his pre-college schooling by alternative means. Krell then received a BA from Cornell College in Iowa before graduating from The New School with an MA in Philosophy in 2008. He then moved from New York City to spend a year in Köln, Germany; he has also spent extensive time in Berlin, Germany. He then returned to the United States, moving to Chicago and joining the philosophy department at DePaul University where he is writing a doctoral dissertation on nihilism and German philosophy in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. In 2016 Krell moved to Los Angeles, where he has since been making music and writing his dissertation.[1][2]



Beginning in 2009, Krell started to turn out free EPs on his blog under the name How to Dress Well.[3] He released 6 EPs in 6 months. He didn't release his name or his photo, but critics quickly picked up on Krell's music and brought him out of the shadows.[4]

Love Remains (2010)Edit

How to Dress Well's debut album, Love Remains, was released in 2010 on Lefse in the United States and on Tri Angle in Europe and Asia.[5] The album assembled the best of Krell's early EPs and garnered vast critical acclaim. It received a score of 8.7 and the "Best New Music" designation from music review site Pitchfork Media.[6] Stereogum recognized How to Dress Well as one of its "40 Best Bands of 2010".[7] Spin gave the album 8 out of 10 stars, calling it "as meditative as it is evocative... conjuring fractured memories of Shai or TLC".[8]

Just Once EP (2011)Edit

In 2011, How to Dress Well released the Just Once EP — a four-song suite of "Suicide Dream" songs set against a string quartet. The EP collects two previously released tracks bearing the name "Suicide Dream", adds a third with that title, and throws in a new version of "Decisions". The set was inspired by and is dedicated to a friend of Krell's who died.[9] Limited to 1000 copies, the 10" vinyl release donated $1 of every record sold to a nonprofit working to raise awareness about mental illness.[10]

Total Loss (2012)Edit

Krell performing in 2013

On the heels of the success of Love Remains, Krell signed a deal with Weird World Records, an imprint of Domino Records. Total Loss was released on September 18, 2012 in North America by Acephale Records and worldwide through Weird World Records.[11] Krell wrote the album over the course of 15 months or so, in Brooklyn, Chicago, Nashville, and London. The album received a “Best New Music” nod from Pitchfork Media, where Ian Cohen wrote that it is "a work of poignant and devastating art." [12] It was also named by Pitchfork as one of the "Top 50 Albums of 2012".[13]

"What Is This Heart?" (2014)Edit

In April 2014, How to Dress Well released the first single off their forthcoming third studio album, "Repeat Pleasure".[14] The album was released on June 23, 2014 via Domino Records / Weird World Records [15] and was very well received by music critics, earning an 8.8 and “Best New Music” designation from Pitchfork.[16] Paste Magazine noted that “Krell has managed to indulge his experimental tendencies while at the same time achieve his most accessible sound to date.” [17]

Capitalizing on the success of "What Is This Heart?", How to Dress Well embarked on a world tour, beginning in the spring of 2014. The tour started off with shows in Europe, and continued on to include stops in North America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and cities throughout Asia. The band performed at a number of major European, North American and Asian festivals, including Flow Festival, Hostess Club Weekender, and Pitchfork Music Festival, to name a few.[18]

Care (2016)Edit

On July 27, 2016 How To Dress Well announced his fourth full-length album, Care. He also released the album's first single “Lost Youth / Lost You” along with an accompanying music video. On August 30, 2016 How To Dress Well premiered "What's Up" on Zane Lowe's Beats1 show. On September 19, 2016 KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic premiered the next single "Can't You Tell." Care was released on September 23, 2016 on Weird World / Domino Records,[19] and was very well received by critics. The New York Times commented that the songs on Care "build dreamlike edifices of electronic and acoustic sounds: sometimes anthemic, sometimes danceable" [20] and Stereogum raved "there’s the music itself, which is fucking gorgeous, which goes beyond even the levels of gorgeousness that Krell managed on 2014’s great “What Is This Heart?”[21] The Line of Best Fit wrote "Care is as close to a perfect example of modern music as you're likely to find – it’s self-reliant, self-assured and packed with more hooks than a cloakroom." [22]

The Anteroom (2018)Edit

In September 2018, How To Dress Well announced his fifth studio album, The Anteroom. It was created as a 'testament' to a two-year period in his life where he "felt [himself] slipping out of the world and into a cosmic loneliness in which [he] would eventually be dissolved".[23] With the album, he sought to explore the experimental sounds of his early work, as well as influences from the works of Coil, Prurient, Gas and Grouper.[24] It was released on October 19.



  1. ^ "How to Dress Well: Loss Leader". The FADER. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  2. ^ Levine, Nick (14 September 2012). "How To Dress Well: 'I was working through shock, anger, misery and pain'" – via The Guardian.
  3. ^ Krell, Tom (2009). "2009 archive". How to Dress Well blog. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  4. ^ Raymer, Miles (2010). "Plagued by Pitchfork". Reader.
  5. ^ "Catalog – tagged "How To Dress Well" – Lefse Records". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  6. ^ "How to Dress Well: Love Remains | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2010-09-24. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  7. ^ "Stereogum's 40 Best New Bands Of 2010". Stereogum. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  8. ^ Hogan, Marc. "How to Dress Well, 'Love Remains' (Lefse) | SPIN | Albums | Critical Mass". SPIN. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  9. ^ "Cover Story: How to Dress Well | Features". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  10. ^ How To Dress Well. "Just Once EP".
  11. ^ Phares, Heather. "Total Loss - How to Dress Well : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  12. ^ Cohen, Ian (September 20, 2012). "How to Dress Well". Pitchfork.
  13. ^ "The Top 50 Albums of 2012". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2014-07-26.
  14. ^ ""Repeat Pleasure" - How to Dress Well". Indie Shuffle. Retrieved 2014-04-07.
  15. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2014-07-06. Retrieved 2014-07-26.
  16. ^ Cohen, Ian (June 23, 2014). "How to Dress Well – "What Is This Heart?"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  17. ^ Hurston, Benjamin (June 24, 2014). "How to Dress Well – "What Is This Heart?"". Paste Magazine. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  18. ^ Geslani, Michelle (2014-05-19). "How To Dress Well announces 2014 U.S. tour dates". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  19. ^ Yoo, Noah; Pearce, Sheldon (July 27, 2016). "How to Dress Well Announces New Album Care, Shares "Lost Youth / Lost You" Video". Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  20. ^ Jon Pareles (September 14, 2016). "Tom Krell of How to Dress Well, on Caring". The New York Times.
  21. ^ Tom Breihan (September 20, 2016). "Album Of The Week: How To Dress Well Care". Stereogum.
  22. ^ Ryan Lunn (September 12, 2016). "How to Dress Well's Care has a style that can't be taught". The Line of Best Fit.
  23. ^ "How To Dress Well Announces The Anteroom, Shares "Nonkilling 6 | Hunger" | Music News | Consequence of Sound". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  24. ^ "RA News: How To Dress Well to release new techno-informed album, The Anteroom". Resident Advisor. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  25. ^ "CHART LOG UK: NEW ENTRIES UPDATE : COMBINED SINGLES (200) : Chart Date: 0 5.07.2014". Retrieved 2014-07-13.
  26. ^ Murray, Robin (2018-09-12). "How To Dress Well Details New Album 'The Anteroom' | News". Clash. Retrieved 2018-09-13.

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