By Claire Stern
Sep 25, 2014 @ 4:01 pm
Courtney Dudley

Tom Krell may not have the celebrity stature of other rock stars (at least, not yet), but if you bumped into him on the street, you'd surely notice. At over six feet tall and neatly outfitted in a mix of A.P.C., Nike, and Hood by Air, he's like a scruffy male model who just so happens to have an infectious melodic voice. So it's no surprise that, when it came time to choose a band name, the 30-year-old singer settled upon "How to Dress Well." And when Krell made a stop for the band's city-wide tour at N.Y.C.'s Irving Plaza, we couldn't resist soliciting some sartorial advice ourselves. Here's an excerpt from our chat:

White seems to be your color of choice when you perform. I started wearing white at first because I didn’t want it to be distracting, but the more I evolved with visuals and lights during the performance, I just realized it was really beautiful—all of the images cascading across my chest. I’m not the type of guy to wear a suit onstage. The performance is really physical—I think people are often surprised at how muscular the music comes off live—and I work up a serious sweat, so a suit is not going to work. It’s just impractical.

What are your other tips for dressing well? Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. Some people feel comfortable in a neoprene miniskirt with nine-inch platform shoes; I tend to be more comfortable in something a little bit more low-key. I think of my style as a hybrid of quite clean, Swedish looks—Acne and stuff like that—but I also like to throw in some American stuff, like Nike sneakers and Hood by Air. I wear white T-shirts from Uniqlo and Walgreens, too. It’s all about context and occasions.

So you're onboard with the athleisure trend then. I rock some Nike sportswear stuff on the street that looks like gym attire, but I would never wear that in the gym. In the gym it’s more about sleeveless cutoff shirts. I hate it when at the gym you see somebody who’s wearing too posh of an outfit.

Courtney Dudley

Okay, onto the music. Your new album, What Is This Heart, deviates a bit from your earlier projects.My first album [2010's Love Remains] was this really noisy thing, and after that I put out this orchestral record [2012's Total Loss], which is the polar opposite. I’ve been trying to figure out where I really sit between these two polls, and this one is more of a hybrid. There are extreme moments of clarity, juxtaposed with extreme moments of noise. It reflects a different phrase of my life.

What's the new phase? Being in my late 20s and still trying to figure everything out. It's about having a different kind of maturity and confidence, and finding a lot of it pretty vexing. I like the idea of a poppier form of music for heavy themes.

Listen to "Childhood Faith In Love" below, plus discover more bands that are currently on our radar now!