Nick Murphy is the product of an artistic transformation, as for example, Father John Misty is as well, but reverse. What I mean is Josh Tillman had a successful music career with his real name and decided to create an heteronym that would play different type of songs so ending the career of the previous and creating “Father John Misty”. In this case Chet Faker was the heteronym that got Nick Murphy famous. He now decided to go for his real name (Nick) and had until now released three songs that did not please the overall public. He is back with an EP which took the good part of those three releases and add it some spice.
So, first of all, why “Chet Faker” ? Well in the beginning of his career he saw himself forced to create an heteronym since people would come to his shows thinking he was a well established DJ. So he decided to homage one of his great idols, Chet Baker. His vocals are a great part of inspiration for Chet’s work. Then, out of nowhere, on the eight of September of the past year there was a shocking tweet revealing that “The next record will be under my own name, Nicholas Murphy. Chet Faker will always be a part of the music. This is next.”
“The next record will be under my own name, Nicholas Murphy. Chet Faker will always be a part of the music. This is next.”
I was part of the doubtful fans of Chet Faker since my favourite work of his is actually his early work. The initial EP’s and other gems that you only find on Youtube (“Chocolates and Cigarettes” ; “I’m Into You”; “Solo Sunrise”). The Album that got all the attention “Built On Glass” had some great ones but without the rawness of previous. Well the rawness is back! And if in “Fear Less” and “Stop Me” I thought there was a “plastic” rawness that confused us, in this EP, “Missing Link”, there are more layers in the music that make it just a coherent piece of Art.
We begin with a familiar voice with a new aggressiveness, filled with a Pop feeling, that was previously undiscovered. Featured by Kaytrinada the influence is overwhelming although one always feels that there is some Chet Faker in there. It ends up being a weird one and not a great start. I believe it will satisfy some young teenagers that started to be his fan in the late part of his previous career. However with “Bye” things are just weirder. If we analyse the album cover, there are five pictures cut in rectangles and five songs in the EP, so “Bye” would correspond to a raged mouth and that is how one feels in a way for that 1.30 minutes.
Peace comes at last with “I’m Ready” which sustains the roughness of the Album in the electronica with the higher than ever pitches from Nick. “Was he sexier with the lower tone voice?” was a thought that came up to my mind. However he answered this with “Forget About Me”, by far his best work from the EP. You can hear Chet Faker, back with his manlier voice, with an electronic with did not know before this and a new personality that will probably play more in Discos than festivals. But that is also what he loves. Coming from Melbourne, Boiler Rooms are as well a natural habitat for him, and he is really good at it.
Finally with “Weak Education” he just challenges anyone that would want to include this EP in a specific genre and keeps the dancing vibe going on. However this one has the intimacy we dearly loved from Chet and is probably the only one with it. A great ending for a short but delicious start!
I will see you in August and hope with more new music from you Nick!