Chromatics - Kill For Love

Chromatics - Kill For Love

Five years after their last full-length work, four piece Oregon band Chromatics return to Italians Do It Better with their next album, Kill For Love, due for release on June 4th 2012.

Though the band originally formed over a decade ago, the mid noughties saw it stripped back to its current incarnation of singer Ruth Radelet, guitarist Adam Miller, drummer Nat Walker, and mastermind / producer/multi-instrumentalist Johnny Jewel.

The resulting collective built on their early lo-fi, no-wave aesthetic with a slowed and dreamy synth pop sound that bared plenty of relation to Italo Disco but added in a unique and dubby undercurrent, gritty guitars and a keen sense of sonic landscaping.

All these traits and more permeate Kill For Love, and the result is 90-minute journey into mesmerising synth pop that surmises much of their work to date. 

As they have done in the past with Bruce Springsteen and Kate Bush tracks, Chromatics make a cover of Neil Young's "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)" all their own: up lit with shimmery sunlight, lovingly aged like and old vinyl and blissfully dreamy, the song sits perfectly comfortably amongst original works like the distant sounding title track or the tense eight minute guitar protraction that is "These Streets Will Never Look the Same."

Said Pitchfork on the album’s US release: "By including so many mood-oriented parts, Kill for Love paradoxically rises above hazy synth-pop's occupational hazard of dissolving into a blur of mood and mood alone.

"It's not just a collection of hits; it's an album, one that gives the project's familiar nocturnal foreboding a new sense of grandeur."

That foreboding comes from a pairing of often melancholy and robotised vocals, thick hazy ambiance and sometimes-sparse instrumental arrangements.

The results are undeniably cinematic, but so too do they transcend the incidental, pulling you into the centre of a world which is beguiling lovelorn and wholly engaging.