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Total Loss

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Editors’ Notes

How to Dress Well is musician Tom Krell, one of a score of American artists making lo-fi bedroom pop. But his niche is particularly narrow, and it’s difficult to find another singer in the genre capable of setting the mood and hitting the notes that Krell has mastered. He grew up loving R&B, and he clearly learned a few things along the way; the ease with which he coaxes a note into silken bliss or coos atmospherics into a microphone is impressive. Total Loss is the Colorado native’s second full-length release, and those who were troubled by the hiss and grit of 2010’s Love Remains will be pleased to hear his new appreciation for cleaner, lighter production values. If you’re an indie pop fan who's unsure about R&B speaking to you, first give a listen to the slowly building, almost a cappella gem “& It Was You.” If Krell’s own backup harmonies and big, empty-room beats interlaced with crisp shakers and fingersnaps don’t pull you in, well, we might suggest a spiritual intervention. Total Loss feels well-named, with hollow piano loops, hazy strings, and sheets of echo coloring the collection with melancholy, while Krell’s voice alternately lifts and devastates.

Customer Reviews


It's only one person


this album is phenomenal. he hit the first note in "talking to you", and i about died. so much intangible beauty and loss in this album i find myself solidly grasping it's one long rolling poem. absolute breath stealer.


this album is cleaner than their first album in regards to sound quality. A solid album but second in overall impact to their first album.

Actually with more listens I think that this album is very powerful, very lonely songs. I think the way I would classify this now is that it is no less impactful than the first album, the music is cleaner in sound quality, it is an How to Dress Well album that quality that makes them who they are is present, the album is different than their first album while retaining that essence. Different is good.


Born: Germany

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Research fellow Tom Krell makes ghostly, lo-fi R&B under the moniker How to Dress Well, a name he stumbled upon and adopted as his own in a Minneapolis bookstore in 2004. As a little boy, Krell loved late-'80s and early-'90s R&B artists including Keith Sweat and Ready for the World, and since he was a late bloomer, he could sing along to songs by female vocalists well into his teens. However, in high school he played in various metal and hardcore bands, then switched to making drone-based music in...
Full Bio
Total Loss, How to Dress Well
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Customer Ratings