In what feels like an eternal build-up to their new album Dear Tommy, Chromatics are back with a new track called “Teacher”. Perhaps the biggest news of all, though, is that the synthpop group have shared an updated (and hopefully final) tracklist for the record, too.
“Teacher” is already the third single Chromatics have shared this year — a pace that’s normal for most artists but feels incredibly fast and exciting for them — following “TOY” and “Famous Monsters”. The release pattern undoubtedly has fans ramping up anticipation for Dear Tommy, something Johnny Jewel promised would be coming “sooner rather than later” back in 2017. In the interim, the band satiated us with their most recent record, 2019’s Closer to Grey.
Further suggesting Dear Tommy is closer to reality than ever is the new 18-song tracklist. However, of Chromatics’ recently released songs, only “Teacher” is included in that total, which could give pause about how complete it really is.
In a press release, Jewel cryptically expanded upon “Teacher” and the inspiration that fed into its creation:
“The apple obscured in fog is enigmatic & open to the interpretation of the viewer. Are we sinking into the unknown or rising from beyond the grave? An apple a day keeps the doctor away & music is the medicine. Our teachers transfer knowledge of good & evil. From the fairytale of Snow White’s endless sleep to the Garden of Eden in the book of Genesis, exposure is the agent of change. Music is a language communicated by the artist but ultimately defined by the listener’s own exposure to sound throughout their life time. I can’t change my past, but I can choose to break the cycle & not pass the poison apple I was fed to my daughter.”
Musically, “Teacher” is what you would expect from Chromatics at this point. Over some hazy synth and building electronic percussion, the song pushes some thin falsettos to the front for what ultimately ends up being a beautiful yet haunting number. There’s a bit of a bad seduction relationship going on, too: “Teacher, you don’t have to tell me twice/ I believe you when I stare into those eyes…You’re too scared to grab the dice.”
Chromatics have also shared a music video for the new track. In the clip, directed by Johnny Jewel himself, lyrics pan across the screen and things quickly flip into intense reds and blues. Wind blows across a girl’s face and then mysterious but familiar imagery appears: a girl with domino-like dots on her face, a clock spinning in reverse, and blurs of hair. Message decoders, it’s your time to shine. Watch the trippy video below.
Considering they were one of the best live acts of 2019, we’re stoked that Chromatics plan to tour later this year. Your best bet is to catch them on the festival circuit, as they plan to stop at Primavera Sound, iii Points, Flow Festival, and more. Find tickets to all of their upcoming concerts here.
Dear Tommy Tracklist:
01. Fresh Blood
03. Never Tell
04. Just Like You
05. She Says
06. The Moment
07. Time Rider
08. White Fences
10. Between The Lines
11. Too Late
12. Dear Tommy
14. Ultra Vivid
17. Dream Sequence
18. Endless Sleep