How to Dress Well to relate songs of love Thursday at Hi-Ho Lounge

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Matthew Correa, Staff Reporter

Tom Krell, better known to fans as How to Dress Well, will performing 9 p.m. Thursday at the Hi-Ho Lounge.

Leading up to his performance, the Hi-Ho Lounge has posted to social media declaring that tickets are expected to sell out before doors open on the night of the show. Krell‘s tour supports his critically acclaimed third album, “What Is This Heart?”

“I’m really excited about performing in New Orleans,” Krell said. “Two of my best friends moved down here a few years ago, and it makes me want to get in touch with the music scene.”

Before making waves in the musical blogosphere in the late 2000s, Krell earned a Ph.D in philosophy from DePaul University. While he claims to keep his studies of metaphysics and syllogisms separate from his music career, the quality and expressiveness of the lyrics in songs like “2 Years On (Shame Dream)” indicate subtle hints of existential anguish underneath an emotional core. Krell stayed involved with making music during his academic years, taking a variety of influences from old-school soul to the early millennial emo scene.

“I used to sing along to these old slow jams when I was kid riding in the car with my dad,” Krell said. “He told me I had a good voice.”

Krell started his cultural climb by posting self-made mix tapes on the Internet. After receiving positive buzz, he released his full-length debut album “Love Remains” in 2010, which began his ascent with a cult following and a steady stream of “Best New Music” accolades from Pitchfork. While critics quickly categorized his brand of music “indie R&B’ or “PBR&B,” after the popular hipster beer brand, Krell does not allow labels to impact the artistry of his music.

Four years later, following the release of his debut and follow up, “Total Loss,” How To Dress Well returns with a record label deal under his belt and prepares to expand his music to a larger audience. The album trades away lo-fi, murky electronic R&B for compositions straight from the singer/songwriter canon. His voice has moved to the foreground rather than remaining buried under reverb and glitch.

“So many different things influenced this change [in sound],” Krell said. “Different ages, having different goals, relationships, listening to different music, the list goes on.”