So I’m sitting here at work (interning at a newsroom), watching reporters bustling around, keeping an eye on national news and listening to surges of typing from the editors around me. It’s busy, but I’m not involved. There haven’t been many stories coming into my inbox, so I push in my purple ear buds and dive into How To Dress Well’s newest track.
When I say “dive,” I mean a pencil dive, where I jump feet-first and the water rapidly rises around me, submerging my body and head. The echoes of the intro have me imagining I’m in an endless ocean – the song’s title probably helps with the imagery, too. (Maybe it’s also because I’m sitting with a blue screen in front of me.)
Tom Krell’s vocals imitate a Justin Vernon-esque falsetto as the song calmly moves forward. I concentrate on the instrument that could be a trumpet or a saxophone coming in to play a resolving major second, which just sound like Orca whale calls. The track drops off at 1:45 and restarts with a fuller beat and sound. I check to see if any of my co-workers can hear it, then I slip down further, taking in the ocean of music.
The track ends and I’m completely still for a moment, like I’m in shock. I hear the elevator bell, alerting everyone on the floor that someone’s arrived. I hear the medley of phones ringing, the chit-chat of the copy editor and the crumbling of a rejected page proof. I’m suddenly more aware of my surroundings. But I also feel emptiness. I’ve emerged from Krell’s ocean, and I’m back to reality.
“Are you supposed to be playing on the Internet or working?” a passing sports editor jokes. I rip out my ear buds, surprised that I could be transcended at work. I guess there really is an ocean floor for everything.
How To Dress Well’s sophomore album Total Loss is set for a September release from Acéphale.