Thursday, December 2, 2010

Love Remains, How to Dress Well

BEST OF 2010

What if Bon Iver went a little R&B? Or, if Passion Pit went a little lo-fi? If Beach House mellowed out the musical antics of Animal Collective? All of these scenarios may end in the beautiful result of How To Dress Well's first full length album, Love Remains. The album is emotional. It moves from the quiet of a Microphones album to the shoe gaze beat of the recent oOoOO album. This is really an album that catches everything from my iPod.

After work, 1.15am, I crawled into my car from the winter cold and into the frozen ice box of the car untouched for over eight hours. I had to sit for fifteen minutes and let the car defrost. I wanted new music. Nothing too peppy. It was too late. I wanted something to match the mood of the air. Something distant, sad, cold. I scanned through the iPod, but wasn't sure what would fit the mood. I needed something new. I happened to come across How to Dress Well. I hadn't listened to them since I got the album after hearing one song a few months ago. I was concerned with a name like How to Dress Well the music was going to be too much pop and dance beat. I was wrong.

The mood of the music, haunted choruses/the crackle of lo-fi recording/the high pitch voice of the male singer/the simple instrumentation, was perfect for the introspective ride home. The sky was ice. The church steeples jutting up higher than the tree tops. The moon a frigid glow. I felt as if I saw the world in a slightly different way. The sadness wasn't so lonesome tonight. The album, a conversation with a stranger. A broken hearted man mourning the loss... the loss of a relationship? The lost of time? The loss of self? I'm still not quite sure. But this is an album of mourning.

The album is a culmination of songs picked from EPs released over the past year. The artist is Tom Krell. I know very little beyond this information. I see Krell is influenced by R&B and gospel music. A few songs show this very strongly. And, Krell is certainly a fan of lo-fi folk, too. This being the most prevalent element of the album.

As I write this, I've only sat through the album one time. Too soon to declare it a top album of the year. But, I may be wrong not to do so. It has been awhile since an album felt so comforting. So close to me within minutes. Chances are, Love Remains will become my winter soundtrack.


No comments:

Post a Comment