Good Lord, just release this album already. We’re more than a year-and-a-half removed from initial, fledgling “promises” by Chromatics mastermind Johnny Jewel that the ambient/post-disco/synthpop group would put out their Kill for Love follow-up sometime soon and still nothing. Well, not quite “nothing.” We’ve gotten a string of excellent songs including the driving, excellent “I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around” and the dark, rippling “Shadow,” but nothing in the way of an album.
It feels as though we’re closer to an album dropping with the release of Dear Tommy’s title track, but who the hell knows? What I can say is that “Dear Tommy” is a near gothic, monster of a song. The crawl of it calls back to Jewel’s work on the Themes for an Imaginary Film record, as well as the slowest bits of Kill for Love and Night Drive, though it feels more fraught than either of those.
Ruth Radelet, in that robotized voice she’s so found of, intones “Dear Tommy, just when I think that I’m alright, I see your face and it only twists the knife.” Piano chords that seem to be coming from the basement of a long-shuttered mansion and lumbering drum hits are all that keep her company in such a fraught moment. Synths and reverb-heavy guitars eventually sweep in, however they don’t make the lady seem any less lonely. Just like their magnum opus “Cherry,” the track shows that being stuck between waiting on change and wanting to flee is a hellish place to be.
(The video below is a delight for anyone found of Argento film and perhaps a hint of a release date. There’s a brief moment when the clock has 11-28-55-16, but of course that’s probably just too much analysis now.)
There’s also a tracklist out, which you can peep:
01 “Fresh Blood”
02 “In Films”
03 “Time Rider”
04 “I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around”
06 “She Says”
07 “Just Like You”
08 “4 A.M.”
11 “Dear Tommy”
12 “Touch Blue”
13 “After Hours”
15 “In Silence”
17 “Endless Sleep”