Photo: Michael Zackery / Domino Records

How to Dress Well – “Vacant Boat” (Singles Going Steady)

Every listen to How to Dress Well's "Vacant Boat" reveals not just something new, but a new way of hearing it as a complete package.

Mike Schiller: Every listen to “Vacant Boat” reveals not just something new, but a new way of hearing it as a complete package. It could sound like a deep cut on a Depeche Mode album; it could sound like something Yeasayer released ten years ago; it could sound like something from the most obscure corners of the Warp Records catalog. Every time, though, it is a fascinating three minutes that never bothers with a chorus or a verse, just a series of static ‘n’ synth rhythms underneath Tom Krell’s confidently fragile falsetto vocals. Krell should stick with the experimental bent of his latest; it looks good on him. [8/10]

Rod Waterman: Shawn Colvin once said of Neal Finn that “he does no bad work”. The same can be said of Tom Krell. He has consistently put out immaculate bedroom headphone music (that’s not a real genre, by the way) and this preview of his new album The Anteroom is no exception. The opening distortion that resolves into Krell’s distinctive falsetto and rich synthesized sound is both reassuring and endorphin producing at the same time. This is what James Blake could be doing if he weren’t hopelessly addicted to chamomile tea. [9/10]

Mick Jacobs: Tom Krell imagines the ruins of the world after the passing of the human race. Similar to the premise, the song is a bit bleak, though not without a tinge of hope. The gradual rise of the chorus carries with it a desire for a better tomorrow, literally like the sun rising on a new day. I wish Krell made his vocals a little more understandable – to get to the bottom of this song, you need to do a quick Google search, which is a bit more effort than one should need. [7/10]

William Nesbit: Burning heads. Flowers. Fruit. This video has some intriguing images, but the cuts from visual to visual are often too jarring. I really like the vocals. This is an early morning song that floats in the pre-dawn coolness of the quiet and blue-black hours. The track never entirely takes off, but I enjoyed waiting to see if it would. [7/10]

John Garratt: An instrumental mix of this track would be interesting, if slightly disjointed. The vocals and the doctoring thereof render it impotent. It’s the sound of an airplane not taking flight. [4/10]

SCORE: 7.00