Synth-pop stylists Chromatics are breaking up, three of the four members announced on Instagram. “After a long period of reflection, the three of us have made the difficult decision to end Chromatics,” wrote founder Adam Miller, singer Ruth Radelet, and drummer Nat Walker. The statement curiously did not include producer Johnny Jewel, who became one of the group’s more visible members and founded the band’s label, Italians Do It Better, in 2006. A representative for Jewel and the label confirmed the breakup on their behalf. “Johnny is extremely proud of his work with the project over the years and he’ll continue making music and supporting great art and artists through his label Italians Do It Better,” his representative told Vulture.
Chromatics began as a lo-fi rock project of Miller’s in Portland, Oregon, in 2001. The eventual lineup of Radelet, Walker, and Jewel didn’t join until a few years later, when the band also shifted toward an electronic sound heavily influenced by Italo disco. The band released three studio albums under that lineup: Night Drive in 2007, Kill for Love in 2012, and Closer to Grey in 2019. They also notably performed in Twin Peaks: The Return. Their long-awaited album Dear Tommy, though, has yet to be released upon the band’s breakup, nearly seven years after Chromatics announced it in 2014. Jewel reportedly destroyed every copy of the album after a 2015 near-death experience, and later rerecorded it; in April 2020, the band released a new track list for the album, along with a single called “Teacher.” The representative for Jewel and Italians Do It Better did not respond to a question about the release of Dear Tommy.
“We would like to thank all of our fans and the friends we have made along the way — we are eternally grateful for your love and support,” the statement from Radelet, Miller, and Walker continued. “This has been a truly unforgettable chapter in our lives, and we couldn’t have done it without you. We are very excited for the future, and look forward to sharing our new projects with you soon.”