How To Dress Well shares stripped down, straightforward R&B '& It Was U'

‘& It Was U’ is How To Dress Well’s most immediate song yet, and it’s a doozy.

As How To Dress Well, Tom Krell has diffused the hallmarks of R&B into ethereal deconstructions. Even when tackling a familiar composition, as on his cover of Janet Jackson’s ‘Again,’ Krell reduces ballads to a gentle falsetto and a smattering of piano chords.

That’s why ‘& It Was U’ (streaming now at NPR) is so surprising: an artist who has made is name with opacity finally sculpts with marble. Krell’s relatively effect-fre evocals are layered to create lush self-harmonies over a simple click track. At about the halfway point, a booming four-on-the-floor shuffle takes us right back to 80s and 90s R&B classics.

How To Dress Well has never been this vulnerable, open, or pristine. Total Loss can’t come soon enough. Take this chance to read our recent interview with Krell about mourning, growth, and his new album.

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