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Baker's Dozen

As Good As It Gets: How To Dress Well's Favourite Albums
Lottie Brazier , November 9th, 2016 11:05

With his fourth album, Care, released earlier this year and a UK tour imminent, Tom Krell picks his top 13 LPs and tells Lottie Brazier why "the true value of bubbly pop music consists in its relationship with desperation"

It might be tempting to label Tom Krell, aka How To Dress Well, with the tag of 'alternative R&B'. And it's true, Krell does manage to incorporate a combination of soulful pop and experimental influences in his own synth-based music, and this is no exception on his latest album, Care, released in September. Though he does this in a way that's markedly independent – not a packaged idea that he has unwittingly accepted as being contemporary, and so 'the correct approach' to music, without contemplation.

Moreover, it seems the product of music that he has openly sentimentalised over the years. During our conversation – in spite of a sporadic connection to Krell's traffic-heavy part of California – he's more than happy in discussing his overarching interest in the formalities of genre, as well as the stories that are told through the music he appreciates. His own music reflects this, with Krell's approach to R&B both free of cynicism, and willing to follow an experimental bent (Care, for example, was produced by the electronic composer Kara-Lis Coverdale). What it makes for is a clear portrait of someone just as interested in the oddness of composition and heavy texture as he is the warm and familial in pop music.

Care is out now on Weird World. How To Dress Well starts his European tour tomorrow at Point Ephemere in Paris, beginning the UK leg on November 21 at Village Underground in London; for full details and tickets, head here. Click on his image below to begin scrolling through Tom's choices, which run in no particular order