New on March 26, 2012
Chromatics are a band from Portland, Oregon, whose line-up features singer Ruth Radelet, guitarist Adam Miller, drummer Nat Walker, and producer/multi-instrumentalist Johnny Jewel.
The band originally featured a trademark sound indebted to punk and lo-fi that was described as "noisy" and "chaotic". After numerous line-up changes, which left guitarist Adam Miller as the sole original member, the band signed to the Italians Do It Better record label.
Chromatics originally featured Adam Miller, guitarist Devin Welch, bassist Michelle Nolan, and drummer Hannah Blilie. After releasing debut album Chrome Rats vs. Basement Rutz in 2003, all members except Miller left to form Shoplifting.
Miller and a revamped lineup released Plaster Hounds in 2004. Further lineup changes from 2004-2005 reduced the band to the quartet of Miller, Ruth Radelet, Johnny Jewel, and Nat Walker - resulting in a radical shift in the band's sound, from punk to dark disco. Chromatics are now often associated with labelmates Glass Candy, since Johnny Jewel plays in both bands, and Desire, a side project of Johnny Jewel and Nat Walker.
They have released three studio albums, including their most acclaimed effort, Night Drive, which was released in 2007 on Italians Do It Better. On Night Drive the group ditched their "aesthetic (hairy noise-rock troupe) in favor of the polar opposite (a neatly groomed pop-dance-trio), surely this granted the band some pre-release hype, but the transformation of Chromatics had been so effortless that it was still easy to be wowed by their results - listeners who were only familiar with the band's forays into shambling punk were certainly surprised by Night Drive's assured songwriting."
Other releases have included the "Nite" and "In Shining Violence" singles. In 2007, Chromatics were featured on the Italians Do It Better compilation After Dark, performing non-album tracks "In The City" and "Hands In The Dark", as well as a demo of Night Drive's "The Killing Spree."
Chromatics gained recognition for their song "Tick of the Clock" which was featured in the heralded Drive movie and soundtrack, a feature film released September 2011 by director Nicolas Winding Refn. In December 2011, Johnny Jewel and Nat Walker released Symmetry, what was described as their "most ambitious project to date: a sprawling, 37-track, two-hour collection of cinematic noir-electro" featuring contributions from Chromatics and other Italians Do It Better acts Glass Candy, Desire and Mirage.
On October 23, 2011 Chromatics released the title track from their upcoming album, Kill for Love. Reviews described the new single as a "really hypnotizing, fascinating song that will definitely get you psyched for the record - Ruth Radalet warmly croons her sweet, cryptic confessional lyrics while her band effortlessly weaves a bubbling, dreamy, New Order-esque soundscape."
The Fader mentioned, "Kill for Love will inaugurate a sea change where artists come to terms with themselves and start being open about how they sound when they sing. In basement studios everywhere, young vocalists will blink three times and start x-ing out effects in Ableton, look at the mirror for the first time in weeks, deep into their beady, sun-deprived eyes and whisper, "God, there are no shortcuts... Kill for Love continues the band's penchant for popular-sound defiance that made Chromatics so exciting in the first place."
After waiting patiently, Chromatics have began to reach fans "five years after the release of their incredibly prescient Night Drive album." On February 11, 2012 the band leaked a second track from their upcoming Kill for Love album, "Into the Black." Chromatics followed their second leak with three additional tracks, "Lady," "Candy" and on March 11, 2012 their fifth leak "Back from the Grave."
As fans anticipate the upcoming album, Johnny Jewel mentioned that the process of creating Kill for Love resulted in a total of 36 tracks that have been narrowed down to 17 for the album.