How To Dress Well

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine

How To Dress Well


“[Music] is 100% my real passion,” says Krell. “The thing I care about the most is doing this music project. It’s just made me so happy over the last five, six years. I feel so fucking blessed to have found this thing to do that I love so much.”


Krell’s passionate investment in How To Dress Well is reflected in his creative self-confidence. Speaking with The BRAG magazine after the release of 2014’s What Is This Heart?, he said, “If I had to say which record I thought was the best of this year, it would be mine.” But such statements shouldn’t be mistaken for arrogance. For one thing, Krell is an undeniably hard worker, and he’s graciously appreciative of his ongoing success.


“That’s part of what brings me so much joy from it – when you start to work towards a dream and then it’s matching up and it’s producing itself in reality, it’s kind of a thrilling feeling,” he says. 
Just as you’d expect from someone engaged in a philosophy doctorate, Krell’s not interested in doing things by halves. Nor would he release anything he didn’t completely believe in, which is certainly the case with his new LP, Care.


“I always take very seriously and want to treat with a lot of respect the fact that I’m not putting something out just for myself,” he says. “As my audience has built, [I’ve just been trying] to do something very good for the people who have invested so much time and energy into my project. With this record, I cannot fucking wait to get it to people. I’m so proud of it and so happy to share it.”


From the moment of pressing play, Care envelops the listener in a joyous and celebratory space. Although Krell demonstrated an affinity for pop music on his
 first three albums, with shiny hooks rising to the fore on What Is This Heart?, Care is a collection of parade pop melodies and sensual rhythms. The record features production from the likes of Jack Antonoff (fun., Taylor Swift), Dre Skull, CFCF and Kara-Lis Coverdale, who help spotlight the vocal and lyrical hooks.


“A lot has changed in my life in the last couple of years, spiritually, psychically, where I’m way happier and more secure in myself than ever before,” Krell says. “It sounds cheesy, but I’ve come to realise that there are things that I like in life – like I want love, I want sex, I want good feelings and I want to claim them with real authority. I think that personal voyage has material consequences in the kinds of choices I make musically.”


This personal development is reflected in the album’s lyrics, which largely concern human emotions, interpersonal interactions and self-understanding.
 A major theme is the crucial importance of self-understanding and self-acceptance in having healthy relationships with others. These aren’t unusual themes to appear in pop songs, but what’s unique is the reasonable and direct tone Krell displays on Care.


“I think if one wanted to, one could do a psychoanalytic case study on my album arc so far – the four albums – and the way that art has allowed me personally to work through a lot of stuff. Now when the songs are sad, they’re not this swirling, inchoate, inarticulate sadness. They’re directly facing the sadness, directly grappling with my desires.

“Instead of being like, ‘I think I want this, I think I want that,’ now the songs say, ‘This is what I want and this is how I’m going to get it, and I can’t wait to have it.’ Or ‘This is what I want but I know it’s wrong.’ I feel like I have a much more direct relationship with myself now and I put myself through a lot less hell.”


Krell singles out one song on Care that typifies his newly realised inner clarity. “I used to think that the only way to honour an experience was to take a poetic path. I think that the most profoundly poetic thing I’ve ever written is the long chorus on ‘Made A Lifetime’ where I say ‘I’ll always be indebted to how warm skin
 is / If you ever want to feel it let me know.’ I used to think I had to blow things up and destroy things in order to touch reality. Part of the reason I called the record Care is because care for me is nurturing for growth. You can’t just destroy yourself to get a poetic image. You have to then live the next day.

“This calmness I’ve developed in myself over the last few years, it’s brought me way more happiness and way more pleasure and clarity of vision, clarity of feeling.”

Care is out now via Weird World/Domino. For more details, head to