Is 'Dear Tommy' Finally Coming Out? Chromatics' 'Black Walls' Video Offers Hope

May 16, 2018
Originally published on May 17, 2018 1:16 pm

Chromatics has always had a flare for the dramatic, whether it's in the synth-pop group's dark and sexy disco-glare encased in cool chrome by 2007's Night Drive, performing on the season premiere of the Twin Peaks revival, or, in the case of the band's producer, Johnny Jewel, literally destroying copies of a record promised four years ago.

Dear Tommy was said to be completed, but after Jewel suffered a near-death experience in 2015, Jewel's former manager, Alexis Rivera, revealed on Twitter that 15,000 CDs and 10,000 vinyl of the album were completely trashed. (Previously released singles attached to the record were also eventually deleted from the internet.) It spurred a wildly creative streak for Jewel, producing music for film and TV, including Lost River and Twin Peaks. But still, no Dear Tommy.

"Dear Tommy has the same titles, same lyrics, same track order, as when it was announced Dec. of 2014. Nothing's changed except it's better," offered Rivera in that same Twitter thread.

So here it is, "Black Walls" from a completely re-recorded Dear Tommy, due out sometime this fall via Italians Do It Better. Accompanied here with a video directed by the band, the song is quintessentially Chromatics — a mystic mood cut on the edge of a bedazzled dagger. Vocalist Ruth Radelet is, as ever, a phantom-like presence, her voice easing us in into the sleepless darkness.

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