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Track Review: ‘Body Fat’ by How to Dress Well

The third single from the brand-new ‘The Anteroom’ finds Tom Krell pondering the body.

Editor’s Note: As part of CMN’s ongoing music journalism program, we asked our team of music writers to review one fresh track from a new album that is being released in October. 

How To Dress Well, the moniker used by the Colorado singer/songwriter Tom Krell, dropped a new single, “Body Fat,” and its music video on earlier this week. “Body Fat” will be included on HTDW’s fifth studio album, The Anteroom.

Krell has teased the album with two previous singles, “Nonkilling 6 | Hunger” and “Land of the Overflowing Urn.”

“Body Fat” is a hushed lullaby about a past love, with a pivotal chorus says, “No matter all your alchemy/ the past will call you back/ there’s just so much pain and anger in your body fat.”

Krell addresses the scientifically reinforced fact that regardless of what one tries to do to forget, their physical bodies absorb the emotions, traumas, and experiences.

Just hearing the quietly sung words “body fat,” challenges you to accept the human body for what it is, and reject the discomfort that our society has attached to the word ‘fat.’ The video features mixed shots of Krell’s own naked and oiled torso, interspersed with motion graphics of (presumably) fat, morphing with the music, eventually shaping into Krell’s own body.

The song’s ambient background and ethereal chords are topped with Krell’s gentle, controlled falsetto. A muted dance beat creates the song’s skeleton, but it is the sharp percussion — which seems to be from the Ableton Live 9 — that keeps the song from drifting away.

A bridge of hopeful synth and heavy reverb effects throughout tie the song together.

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