CLASH MAGAZINE 'IN CONVERSATION' WITH HOW TO DRESS WELL 

It’s been nearly six years since we last heard from How To Dress Well, the beguiling musical project from American multimedia artist, singer-songwriter, and producer Tom Krell. Over the course of the last decade and a half, he’s crafted a wholly unique body of work, encapsulating everything from dream pop, R&B and soul, to brash, confrontational noise.

For his part, Krell would probably be the first to admit that How To Dress Well projects have always required an open mind, but it’s his unique, unflinching pursuit of truth within the weirdness that continues to make the project so compelling. To be here in 2024 discussing the sixth How To Dress Well LP is something of a gift, not least because if Krell had had his way several years ago, we wouldn’t have been here talking about it.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW ON CLASH

STEREOGUM ALBUM OF THE WEEK: HOW TO DRESS WELL 'I AM TOWARD YOU' 

How To Dress Well's upcoming album I Am Toward You has been named Album of the Week by Stereogum. Check out the glowing review below. I Am Toward You is available everywhere May 10.

PRE-ORDER 'I AM TOWARD YOU'

"All music is the product of thoughts and feelings, but Tom Krell’s derives from so many thoughts, from emotions felt so deeply. Most albums released into the music industry slipstream are presented with some degree of “director’s commentary”-style guideposts explaining how to think about the work — interviews, press releases, an official biography — even before getting into the common language of cover art, music videos, stage visuals, merch, and social media posts. Music is an ancient form of human expression; popular music, especially in the internet era, tends to be a multimedia art project. Krell understands both points, and with How To Dress Well, the great creative endeavor of his life, he goes beyond the norm to give the world a little extra. Or maybe a lot. Extra is who he is. He pours his whole heart and mind into his records, and then he gives you detailed footnotes.

I Am Toward You, out this Friday, is the first How To Dress Well album in six years. It arrives a decade and a half since Krell sent shockwaves through music-blog world with his earliest releases under the name, songs that reframed the sound of ‘80s and ‘90s R&B as faded memories, bathed in celestial light and laced with conceptual underpinnings of someone who loves philosophy as much as he loves music. His first three albums gradually brought that aesthetic into focus. They were released at a time when seemingly every indie rock band was dabbling in R&B — a trend Krell helped to initiate — and they made him something like a star. As he explains in an extensive document accompanying the new album, getting indie-famous didn’t pay the bills, so he tried to make something more digestible and expressly commercial with 2016’s Jack Antonoff-assisted Care. When Care failed to elevate Krell to new heights, he reacted against the careerist impulse with 2018’s fractured and noisy The Anteroom, an album that emerged from an intense period of ego death involving two-week silent meditations and hallucinatory experiences with sacred plant medicine."

FULL REVIEW

HOW TO DRESS WELL RELEASES NEW SINGLE "CONTINGENCY/NECESSITY (MODALITY OF FATE)" 

Heading into next week's album release, How To Dress Well has shared the new single "Contingency/Necessity (Modality of Fate)". Its a richly layered, emotionally vulnerable song based around the sound of heavy falling rain in Berlin in 2013, wrapped like a blanket around Krell’s experience of life-history unfolding. It features guest CFCF who plays additional guitars and synths, and was also mixed by Trayer Tryon. 

"“Contingency/Necessity (Modality of Fate)” is a song about how random decisions and random historical contingencies come together to shape a life into something undeniable and necessary," Krell says.

The full album I Am Toward You is available everywhere May 10.

WATCH / STREAM “CONTINGENCY/NECESSITY”

PRE-ORDER ‘I AM TOWARD YOU’

RED FANG - 15 Year Anniversary Limited Edition Reissue of their debut album RED FANG 

We are reissuing Red Fang's Self Titled LP to commemorate its 15 Year anniversary. This limited edition pressing is a transparent / silver splatter with a reimagined metallic print on the jacket. Also available for a limited time is the album cover shirt with silver shimmer ink. Pre-orders for the vinyl/shirt in North America available at Hello Merch. European pre-orders available at Evil Greed.

A limited number of this variant  will be available at record stores on May 24, 2024. 

PRE-ORDER HELLO MERCH

PRE-ORDER EVIL GREED

REZN SIGN TO SARGENT HOUSE & ANNOUNCE NEW RECORD 'BURDEN' OUT JUNE 14 

Photo Credit: Alexa Viscius
 

REZN – the Chicago-based band of Rob McWilliams (vocals, guitar), Phil Cangelosi (bass), Patrick Dunn (drums), and Spencer Ouellette (synth/saxophone) – announce their new album, Burden, out June 14th via their new label Sargent House. In conjunction, they present its massive lead single/video, “Chasm.” Since their inception, REZN have mined the stark monochromatic depths of underground metal and fused them with the kaleidoscopic delights of psychedelia, prog rock, and shoegaze. With their latest album Burden, they plumb the deepest, bleakest trenches of their sound while retaining a lifeline into the cosmos. Staking a claim at the crossroads of the hazy dimensions of modern psych acts like Black Angels, the cavernous gloom and reverb-drenched guitar of bands like Spectral Voice, and the lurching low-end meditations of artists like OM, REZN have created Burden—an album of immense amp-worshipping weight and intoxicating instrumentation.

Burden was recorded simultaneously with their previous album Solace back in July 2021 at Earth Analog Studios in Tolono, IL by Matt Russell. Rather than release a double album, REZN divided the material into two separate records, each with its own distinct emotional timbre. Whereas Solace was meant to uplift and create a sense of narcotic dreaminess, Burden skews towards the themes of delirium, claustrophobia, and misery. Musically, Burden favors riffs over atmosphere, percussion over ether, dissonance over beauty, but there is still an undeniable cohesion between it and its predecessor. The marriage of brute force and sublime textures has always been a key tactic in REZN’s approach—a duality that may explain their touring history with fellow synesthesia-inducing metallurgists Elder and Russian Circles—but the spectrum of the band’s mercurial temperaments has never felt as clearly defined and fully explored as it does on Burden

Burden’s artwork is a literal continuation of Solace’s landscape painting, showing the fiery depths at the foot of the mountain range. Even Burden’s most reserved moments feel like the calm before the storm, a gathering of momentum before the punishing closer and lead single “Chasm,” a megalithic weedian crusher further bolstered by a scorching guitar solo courtesy of Russian Circle’s Mike Sullivan. “We wrote ‘Chasm’ to depict the final phase of an existential descent, when you're on the last few steps of the spiral staircase and realize there's no going back,” says Rob McWilliams. “We wanted it to sound like walls closing in on all sides and you're looking at the exit getting further and further away. Mike’s melodic finger-tapping style blurs the section into a kind of dizzying, infernal panic attack. In the final moment of the song you're faced with the repetitive churning of a molten, fuzzed-out wall of sound that builds until the audio itself starts to singe and catch fire, then abruptly self destructs."

 
Watch REZN’s Video for “Chasm”

 As knowledgeable gear heads, experienced sound engineers, and seasoned DIY veterans, REZN were able to create an early body of work devoid of any sonic compromises in their speaker-rattling dirges and heady lysergic forays. Their four self-released albums—Let It Burn (2017), Calm Black Water (2018), Chaotic Divine (2020), and Solace (2023)—have all gone through multiple vinyl pressings and the international underground heavy psych world has routinely selected the band for distinguished festival slots across North America and Europe. From their inception, REZN have been a fiercely independent band with a fully realized aesthetic and a fervent cult following. Now ready to take things even further, REZN have teamed up with Sargent House to release Burden unto the world.
 
This summer, REZN will tour across North America with Pallbearer. Following, they’ll tour in Europe with new label mates Russian Circles as well as performing at multiple festival. A full list of dates can be found below and tickets are on sale now.

 
Pre-order Burden
 
Burden Tracklist
1. Indigo
2. Instinct
3. Descent of Sinuous Corridors
4. Bleak Patterns
5. Collapse
6. Soft Prey
7. Chasm
 
REZN Tour Dates
Sat. May 11 - Oslo, NO @ Desertfest Oslo
Tue. June 11 - Durham, NC @ The Fruit %
Wed. June 12 - Asheville, NC @ Eulogy %
Jun 13 - Virginia Beach, VA @ The Bunker Brewpub %
Fri. June 14 - Baltimore, MD @ Metro Baltimore %
Sat. June 15 - Lancaster, PA @ Tellus360 %
Sun. June 16 - Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts %
Tue. June 18 - Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom %
Thu. June 20 -Brooklyn , NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg %
Fri. June 21 - Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair %
Sat. June 22 - Montreal, QC @ Theatre Fairmount %
Sun. June 23 - Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground %
Tue. June 25 - Milwaukee, WI @ Vivarium %
Wed. June 26 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall %
Thu. June 27 - St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club %
Fri. June 28 - Lawrence, KS @ Bottleneck %
Sat. June 29 - Little Rock, AR @ The Hall %
Wed. July 26  - Indianapolis, IN @ Post. Festival
Wed. Oct. 9 - Berlin, DE @ Astra $
Thu. Oct. 10 - Koln, DE @ Kantine $
Fri. Oct. 11 - Munich, DE @ Keep It Low Festival $
Sat. Oct. 12 - Prague, CZ @ Archa $
Mon. Oct. 14 - Vienna, AT @ Arena $
Tue. Oct. 15 - Bologna, IT @ Estragon $
Thu. Oct. 17 - Metz, FR @ La Bam $
Fri. Oct. 18 - Antwerp, BE @ Desertfest $
Sun. Oct. 20 - Gothenburg, SE @ Monument $
Mon. Oct. 21 - Oslo, NO @ Parkteatret $
Tue. Oct. 22 - Stockholm, SE @ Slaktkyrkan $
Thu. Oct. 24 - Copenhagen, DK @ Vega $
Fri. Oct. 25 - Aalborg, DK @ Lasher Fest $
Sat. Oct. 26 - Hamburg, DE @ Uebel & Gefaehrlich $
Tue. Oct. 29 - Birmingham, UK @ O2 Institute2 $
Wed. Oct. 30 - Glasgow, UK @ Slay $
Thu. Oct. 31 - Belfast, N-IRE @ Limelight 2 $
Fri. Nov. 1 - Dublin, IRE @ Button Factory $
Sat. Nov. 2 - Manchester, UK @ Damnation Fest $
Sun. Nov. 3 - London, UK @ EartH $
Tue. Nov. 5 - Paris, FR @ Le Trianon $
Wed. Nov. 6 - Rennes, FR @ L'Antipode $
Thu. Nov. 7 - Bordeaux, FR @ Krakatoa $
Sun. Nov. 10 - Madrid, ES @ Nazca $
Mon. Nov. 11 - Barcelona, ES @ Salamandra $
 
%= w/ Pallbearer
$= w/ Russian Circles
 

HOW TO DRESS WELL RELEASES NEW VIDEO/SINGLES 

How To Dress Well has released singles “Crypt Sustain” and “nothingprayer” off of his upcoming album I Am Toward You. Check out the tracks/videos above and below and pre-order I Am Toward You HERE

Read about the tracks in Tom Krell's own words:

““Crypt Sustain” is about the cryptic origin of all artmaking, about my art and my brother’s art work (which is all over the I Am Toward You work, including a font of his beautiful handwriting). It's about Maria Torok's work on crypts and ghosts in the intergenerational psyche and intergenerational transmission of trauma (again Tom? lol). It’s about the hegemony of realism and the desire to disavow the graphomaniac origins of art-making. It's about non-verbal para-speech, Headbanger's Ball, and the origin of graffitti 40,000 years ago and in the Lascaux Caves 20,000 years ago. It references Abraham and Torok, Bataille’s The Cradle of Humanity, Puar’s The Right to Maim, and Metallica, and criticizes the historical use of the category of disability and the violent creation of the ‘upright’ subject across human history.”

"It positions neurodivergence in the history of profound human spiritual expression, rather than giving away the game to categories of policing and control. Ultimately, the chorus draws our attention to the simple elusiveness of the secret dream at the core of all human representation. If we could sustain ourselves in the retraction of meaning we’d have less atomic bombs, less restrictive categories, better art, more dreams."

““nothingprayer” is a prayer in the Via Negativa, an attempt to orient myself towards God or that level of reality that lies beyond any attempted contact. Ἀπόφασις in Greek, I try to reveal that even attempting to name God through stripping away, through holding onto nothing, still leaves God infinitely far from me. I believe this teaches a great lesson about reality and about love: we must offer our prayer against possession as a model of connection. I Am Toward You is what the nothingprayer says, fully recognizing the impossibly of naming God or possessing the beloved.”

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