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Chromatics are an American electronic music band from Portland, Oregon, formed in 2001. The band consists of Ruth Radelet (vocals/synthesizer), Adam Miller (guitar/vocoder), Nat Walker (drums/synthesizer), and Johnny Jewel (producer, multi-instrumentalist). The band's latest album, Kill for Love, was released March 26, 2012.
The band originally featured a trademark sound indebted to punk and lo-fi that was described as "noisy" and "chaotic". After numerous lineup changes, which left guitarist Adam Miller as the sole original member, the band began releasing material on the Italians Do It Better record label in 2007.Chromatics originally featured Adam Miller, guitarist; Devin Welch, bassist; Michelle Nolan; and Hannah Blilie, drummer. 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 2004-2005 reduced the band to the quartet of Miller, Ruth Radelet, Johnny Jewel, and Nat Walker—resulting in a gradual shift in the band's sound and live performance. Chromatics have often toured the world with labelmates Glass Candy, since Jewel plays in both bands, as well as Desire, a side project of Jewel and Nat Walker. Walker and Jewel also have an instrumental project called Symmetry.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 a neatly groomed pop-dance quartet). According to Pitchfork: "... the transformation of Chromatics had been so effortless but 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."
Various songs from Night Drive have been licensed for usage in multiple Hollywood films, television shows, international television and internet advertisements, and runway shows.
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 film and soundtrack, a feature film released September 2011 by director Nicolas Winding Refn. In December 2011, Johnny Jewel and Nat Walker released Symmetry, which 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, "Maybe 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...