On How to Dress Well’s fourth LP, Care, Tom Krell sings about what it really means to care—for others, for the world, and for himself—with a voice which has more clarity and depth than ever before. Care is an exploratory, journeying record in which Krell employs a broad range of distinct styles and emotional tones in pursuit of the knowledge of what it really means to be a human in the world and how to do that in the truest way he can.
But Care is not a concept album about the act of caring. It is, Krell says, an “enactment of care.” In other words, he is reJlearning how to care for himself and others through this music. “When I wrote these songs, I wanted to make myself feel right. I make music in order to try out feeling true, and weirdly I feel like it took me a long time to connect feeling true and feeling good.” For Krell, this is what care does.
The album is a beaming pop record, yet it is a natural step in Krell’s evolution. Now four albums deep, Krell has become something of a career artist, teasing out ideas from earlier records even as he pushes his sound in new directions.
Care is an album about how we become who we are. How that’s sometimes out of our control but how it’s never too late to change. “It’s important to affirm yourself in the gutter, when you’re pathetic—there’s a lot to learn there,” explains Krell. “To not have shame and to learn from the stuff that might give you shame, because those moments are charged. This record is about letting yourself off the hook for not knowing you were building up patterns that your older self would have to really struggle to transform.” Emotionally tumultuous and unpredictable as well as incredibly brave and honest, Care is the sound of Krell opening up his entire world so that he can properly nurture himself and everyone listening.
RICKY EAT ACID
Ricky Eat Acid is the main project of musician/producer Sam Ray. Active under the name since 2009, Ray has released countless albums and singles, gleefully refusing to work along genre lines and instead crafting a tableau made up of everything from ambient/drone to candy colored, EDM-adjacent beats.
Ray has proven himself to be an incredibly prolific artist, recording under multiple names and with multiple bands to create a dense and occasionally daunting catalogue. There’s a now defunct indie-pop band, Julia Brown, and a recently reunited punk band, Teen Suicide, whose new album was released this year on Run For Cover Records.
While most artists working at his pace could be expected to run out of ideas sooner or later, Ray has only grown more ambitious. With new record 'Talk To You Soon' featuring string arrangements from composer & songwriter Owen Pallett, guest vocals from rising indie-rock artists Harmony Tividad, Spencer Radcliffe, and Caroline White, as well as a collaboration with experimental black metal band Wreck & Reference, it’s not difficult to trace where Ray’s other projects have left their mark on his main work. That he’s able to synthesize these different influences to create an album that’s as jarring and discordant as it is euphoric and blissful is a testament to his unique vision & talent.