The room was pitch black but his voice was vibrant with color. Tom Krell of How to Dress Well put me under his spell with his fully controlled falsetto singing sung into two(!) microphones to create his signature echo-like vocals.
Krell performed mostly off his latest album, What Is This Heart?, released earlier this summer. He explained that his sound guy was detained at the border after playing the first song, “A Power”, but what I really wanted to know was… what’s up with the lighting? I could hardly locate him on the Fortune Nightclub stage.
This became a miniscule interference when I was taken aback with just how talented Krell truly is during “Face Again” and “Repeat Pleasure”. So much of his high-ranged voice was live and so much of it was flawless. Krell’s energy behind the voice blasted at us as if he had been quiet all week to finally let it out.
After “Cold Nites”, Krell taped the audience collectively wishing his mom a happy birthday. The place started to get a little frisky (but politely so) at this point, especially when the group activity was followed up by the more upbeat track, “Very Best Friend”. I stood there in wonder as he sang and cooed a bunch of nothings and made me feel a whole lot of something.
By this point I’ve fallen deeply in love with my 2938429th music artist. Then, without warning, Krell chucked my fragile heart into a Vitamix blender when he dedicated “2 Years On (Shame Dream)” to a “Francine”. Who the hell is Francine?! (Great name.) (For a grandma.)
How to Dress Well ended their set with the very song that got me started, “Words I Don’t Remember”. Krell returned with an encore of a piece he didn’t know all the words to. But the lyrics didn’t have to make sense even if our hearing senses were especially heightened that night. We were there for the voice.