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Johnny Jewel destroyed Chromatics’ Dear Tommy, only to record a new “better” version

on May 03, 2017, 8:45pm

The mystery of synth-pop innovators Chromatics’ long-awaited Dear Tommy has raged on for years now, with the band’s fifth LP landing on both our 2016 and 2017 Most Anticipated Albums lists. The last few years have given us a few singles—the title track“Shadow”, “I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around”—but a release date for the album continued to elude us. When those tracks recently disappeared from Spotify, fans thought this might be a sign. Turns out they were right.

We still don’t have a release date, but Alexis Rivera Of Echo Park Records has finally offered some insight into the album’s delay via a veritable tweet storm. The story begins in 2015, with the band’s Johnny Jewel having “almost died in Hawaii.” When he returned, he apparently destroyed “all copies” of Dear Tommy, which included 15,000 CDs and 10,000 vinyl records. “Is it weird to destroy & delete your album once it’s done? Fuck yes. It’s also financially insane. But it wasn’t the first time he’s done it,” Rivera wrote.

After a brief detour to discuss how Jewel did the same to an early version of Kill For Love, Rivera claims that “we are getting closer to the release of the album” and that it “has the same titles, same lyrics, same track order, as when it was announced Dec of 2014. Nothing’s changed except it’s better.”

So there you have it. We’re finally getting Dear Tommy. Or are we? Lord knows there’s room for another twist here. Read Rivera’s tweets below.