“The songs are expertly crafted, interesting and infectious, showcasing a range of genres, sounds and instruments and giving a very promising and exciting insight into his upcoming album”.
Australian singer-songwriter Chet Faker, who has released material under both this moniker and his birth name Nick Murphy, shot to fame following the huge popularity of his 2011 cover of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity”, which first introduced us to his electronic and jazz infused smooth sound. Murphy has released an EP consisting of four tracks, all singles released in the wake of his first album under the Chet Faker moniker in 7 years, ‘Hotel Surrender’.
The first track on the EP, ‘Feel Good’ is Fakers most recent release which he shared with fans on June 4th, alongside a music video which shows him rollerblading through the Californian desert wearing a white dress. Speaking about the track and video, Faker simply and succinctly states:
“The song is called ‘Feel Good’. The song is about feeling good. The video is me feeling good. Anymore talking is just gonna kill the vibe.”
Fair enough. The message of this joyful track is as simple as this statement with the repetition of ‘it’s got to feel good’ in the chorus telling you all you need to know. Yet, the production and arrangement are anything but simple. The song is made up of a complex, yet slick fusion of a funky bass-line, adding a disco-soul sound, strings which swell in the gaps between the bass, drums, piano, synthesisers, and harps. The instrumental outro really lets the multifaceted arrangement shine and the instruments complement each other, creating a polished, funky sound, reminiscent of Metronomy.
The second track, ‘Low’ was the first release under the Chet Faker moniker since 2015, shared in October 2020, reviving the project that many thought was on indefinite hiatus. A smooth, bluesy bass-line, driving drums and mellow strings make up the track and with this more stripped back production that the previous song, the vocals of Nicky Murphy are displayed more here, soaring between a rich lower range and an impressive and soulful falsetto. The hook lyric ‘just because I feel low right now, doesn’t mean all that I’ve got has run out’ fits the return of the Chet Faker project, as well as our current climate of both melancholy and optimism, perfectly.
Third track ‘Whatever Tomorrow’, which was released alongside the announcement of the ‘Hotel Surrender’ album, is a stunning mixture of bass, synth, strings and soulful vocals, perfectly blending an electronic and symphonic sound. Nicky Murphy has commented that the track is:
‘a rebellion to this idea that you have to wait for the things you need. It felt like we were being sold tomorrow and we were paying for today. I was saying, ‘F*** your tomorrow, we deserve our lives now.’”
The last track of the EP ‘Get High’ accompanied by a visual of kaleidoscopic swirls, boasts a jazzy piano intro which builds into an upbeat, R&B inflused, groovy track which is driven by a piano riff, showing the range of instruments the EP expertly uses. Talking about the unexpected revival of his Chet Faker moniker with Complex magazine, Murphy has said:
‘I felt like the world was hurting, so I thought, I can do a small something to give people some joy.’
This collection of Murphy’s recent releases under Chet Faker does nothing if not create joy. The songs are expertly crafted, interesting and infectious, showcasing a range of genres, sounds and instruments and giving a very promising and exciting insight into the album which is set for release on 16th July.
Words: Leila McGrorty