How To Dress Well | FYF Festival | August 25, 2013


To check out pictures of other bands I was able to catch at the festival, CLICK HERE.

How To Dress Well's double mics.
How To Dress Well’s double mics.

Though he released a highly acclaimed album back in 2010, I didn’t become familiar with Tom Krell’s (p/k/a How To Dress Well) music until earlier this year. While I was reviewing the various acts that were slated to perform at the festival this year, I clicked on the musician’s link from the FYF Festival website and thereafter spent the next hour playing his music. I was hooked, and circled his 5:20pm set time as “must attend”.

I spent the months leading up to the festival buying albums of all of the artists that I was interested in, when I purchased How To Dress Well’s 10” EP “Just Once”. It may be one of the best purchases I’ll have made this year. Limited to 1000 copies, that vinyl is described as a one time-only, orchestral release, part of proceeds from sale of which went to MindFreedom.com to benefit those with mental health issues. It was recorded in the memory of one of Tom Krell’s friends and was simply, amazingly, hauntingly beautiful.

Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well.
Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well.

I was able to get up front for his set. While the stage hands were setting up, a DJ was spinning some 90s era music. An Aaliyah song started to play and I noticed Tom offstage singing along. When he took to the stage, he was accompanied by a keyboardist and a violinist. Using the a two-microphone technique,  he jumped into his set opening with a new song tentatively titled “For Cyril.” Amazing. And it kept on coming.

His music, with sparse drums and layered, falsetto vocals, set a mellow vibe as haunting as the recordings I had purchased. It may have been a rather dark set for the middle of the day- which Tom acknowledged half way in when he introduced an upbeat song with, “This is a dance song, because it’s too early to be this dark”- but I was loving every minute of it. He further made light of the dark set by also telling the crowd that it was his mom’s birthday. He mixed R. Kelly’s “I Wish” into one of his songs to his audience on their toes. At the end by telling the audience that if there was anything he would want to impart on the audience before he left, it was to be, “Be nice to people.” A simple message amongst complex, stunning music.

Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well.
Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well.

His set met my expectations, save but a few technical difficulties, and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for any more intimate club gigs that he may have in Los Angeles in the future.

The setlist was sourced from setlist.fm:

  1. For Cyril (New Song)
  2. Suicide Dream 1
  3. Cold Nites
  4. No More Death
  5. & It Was U
  6. Ready for the World
  7. Set It Right
  8. Repeat Pleasure (New Song)
Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well with his violinist.
Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well with his violinist.
Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well with his keyboardist.
Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well with his keyboardist.
Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well.
Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well.

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