How to Dress Well’s album Care gets under your skin and stays there. It’s the kind of record that mandates repeat listens not just because it’s full of perfectly constructed pop gems but because it’s so dense in emotion that there’s no way to ring out all the feelings on your first try. We asked Tom Krell to make us a playlist of tracks that he listened to while making one of our favorite records of the year — both to get a glimpse at his inspiration and to have something else to put on when our roommates complain about hearing Care for the 30th consecutive time. Take a listen to below, and be sure to grab Care when it comes out on tomorrow. We promise, it will blow you away.
Robyn – Hang With Me
This is the best pop song of the decade (so far). Everyone is still just trying to get to Robyn’s level. I love her voice and everything she says, and the production is so crystal clear and simple and elegant and banging.
Young Thug – Raw
I listened to this song almost every night leaving the studio. I live for Thug’s love songs, and this is the best one among many greats. This beat and his delivery and range on it are just a perfect pop match.
Annie – Heartbeat
A weirdly forgotten tune, this Annie song is def among the best pop of the 21st century. I’ve been rocking Anniemal heavy over the last couple years and it’s a sort of marvel to my mind. Such a great song and record.
Kodie Shane – Losing Service
She’s like my favorite rapper, and this song is so somber and powerful, I love it. Also, for a brighter mood, “Drip on my Walk” is FIRE.
Coldplay/Brandy – Magic
Brandy wrote a perfect pop song, and she gave it to Coldplay and they made it really fucking good. This is a perfect song, period—- it’s really hard to imagine a better and more direct song.
Air France – No Excuses
This is my inspo song always—- whenever i’m feeling anxious or stressed I listen, and it just lifts me right up! Knowing a bit about their collage production technique also leaves me baffled that they made something so fucking perfect.
Bonnie Raitt – I Can’t Make You Love Me
The saddest and most beautiful thing. I love Bonnie, and this song in particular just makes me so god damn sad. Man, music is so powerful!
Popcaan – Unruly Prayer
I love when artists do unexpected things, and Popcaan dropping a Beatless hymnal is such a fucking crazy flex that I immediately fell in love. It is a prayer, and so has a really intense emotional energy, which I just adore.
Annie Lennox – Walking on Broken Glass
This is the kind of crystal clear pop I wanted to make on Care. This song is unspeakably good—- the arrangement, the lyric, the vocal performance and melody—- peerless goddess Annie!
Suicide – Dream Baby Dream
To me, this is pop pure and simple—- I love how fucking punk it is. This song was a inspiration for Care and for life as well!