How to Dress Well streaming “What Is This Heart?” (listen), talks Taking Back Sunday & Starting Line influence on the LP
by Andrew Sacher
It's his third full length, following 2010's Love Remains which introduced him as maker of sweet, sultry atmospheres and 2012's Total Loss which brought more of a traditional "songwriter" sense to his work. That songwriting excels even more here, and though many of the R&B sounds he's used in the past are here, it's a deeply personal record in a way rarely associated with R&B. Tom just spoke to Pitchfork about the new record, including the influence his emo upbringing had on it:
That latent emo influence is found on a few "What Is This Heart?" tracks, including the throbbing "A Power", which Krell describes as "extreme philosophical poetry that stemmed from meditating on Taking Back Sunday." Meanwhile, the electric guitar-stung "Childhood Faith in Love (Everything Must Change, Everything Must Stay the Same)" was originally put into motion when Krell revisited a 2002 track by Philadelphia pop-punk band the Starting Line called "Best of Me".
"I thought about what music like that meant to me as a teenager, how I was moved so intensely by this schlocky pop punk like it was fucking fine art," he says, smiling at the memory. "For me, the most important thing about music is immediacy, which is part of the reason why I have such broad listening habits. I'm pretty shameless about it: I was playing the Starting Line in bed the other night, and my girlfriend was like, 'What the fuck?! Turn this off.' But that song still completely thrills me."