In 2010, when Tom Krell first performed under the name How to Dress Well, he was a different person from the one now sitting at a corner table at Longman & Eagle, hovering over a plate of eggs. For one thing, Krell is, by all accounts, happy.

That might not seem noteworthy for a 32-year-old rising music star on the eve of releasing his much-anticipated fourth album, Care. But for most of his life, Krell has struggled with depression. His first album, Love Remains, details a bout he suffered while traveling the globe before pursuing a doctorate in philosophy at DePaul University. Sung in Krell’s haunting, translucent falsetto, the LP put the artist on the indie music map.

Two albums and countless accolades later, Care could propel Krell onto the Top 40. “I’m making music that’s an alternative to contemporary pop,” he says of the buoyant project, which includes collaborations with Fun’s Jack Antonoff and dancehall legend Dre Skull.

His outlook has brightened, too, thanks to years of channeling unhappiness into cathartic live performances. “I feel more ebullient—spiritually, intraphysically. Even if I’m going through a moody passage, I feel stable in myself and my character.”