How to Dress Well
Desperation’s always been at the heart of How to Dress Well’s music, but “Face Again”, the latest from HTDW’s forthcoming third LP, “What Is This Heart?”, quite literally sounds as if it’s gasping for air. After the beat clicks into place at the top of the track, the second sound you hear is a reedy, distortion-laden pulse, like the beep of a heart monitor or a high-in-the-chest wheeze of a machine-assisted breath. “Face Again,” with its talk of broken bones and bitten hands, finds a now-reeling Krell yearning for clarity. “I know I want an answer,” Krell confesses at one point, “but I forgot the question.”
The queasy, post-Yeezus lurch of “Face Again” perfectly mimics the encroaching dread and overwhelming anxieties Krell finds himself faced with. With writhing synths and 10,000 leagues of sub-bass behind him, Krell—his voice doubled, downshifted and faintly depraved-sounding—howls into the void: “Look me in the face again and tell me what I oughta be.” “Face Again” is a live-and-direct dispatch from the precise moment shock, stress and anguish make their way under the skin and lodge themselves in your chest.