"This is the coming out party for Nick Murphy, and it's dark and twisted, fuelled by anxiety and suspicion, leading you inside the unpredictable nature of his creativity."
I think it's time to accept that Chet Faker will not be making an appearance ever again. Hopefully anyone who read that last sentence understands that Chet Faker is just a moniker for Nick Murphy, under which he redefined the use of the synth and demonstrated an artistry to weaving a floating ambience with a keyboard.
The last we heard from his Chet Faker discography was at his Nick Murphy gig at Laneways 2017, where he jumped from his Nick Murphy set into some Chet Faker tunes because quite frankly firstly, Nick Murphy had only released the equivalent of one EP, and secondly he knew we only wanted to hear Chet Faker anyway. But upon the arrival of this latest EP, Nick Murphy can finally redefine his works in any way he wants to.
This EP is interesting. You can feel the vibe from Chet Faker is still there, an undertone of style that characterises Nick Murphy will never be lost, that floaty silky smooth rhythm will always underly his chocolate sullen vocals. However, there is nothing electro-pop about this record (maybe the final track Weak Education, it sounds very similar to his collaboration with Marcus Marr in 2015), the vocals are there, but the atmosphere is not. This is something completely different, a clear development in his methodology and ideology to how he approaches music.
There is something more sinister about this EP, and you can see it at first glance of the beautifully tragic cover. He opens with Your Time, produced by KAYTRANADA, a dark twisting and heaving hit filled with angst and you get the feeling that Murphy is holding himself back. This leads into the darker more intense alternate reality of Murphy's EP, Bye leads open with a broken electric guitar leaden with feedback, as he draws you through a Chet-Faker-is-gone-deal-with-it-mother-f***ers-now-listen-to-two-minutes-of-my-purest-anxiety, journey. And I kind of vibe it.
It lightens up as he leads you through I'm Ready, almost towards enlightenment, and you begin to realise why you fell for Murphy in the first place. God damn his voice is sexy, but there's still something sinister there, he's grappling with something. Forget about me is filled with futuristic synths harkening in what might just be a new age of Nick Murphy. This is the coming out party for Nick Murphy, and it's dark and twisted, fuelled by anxiety and suspicion, leading you inside the unpredictable nature of his creativity.
Do I like it? Unsure yet. I'll give it a solid 4 stars. It's immaculate, only Nick Murphy can produce such flawless imperfection. Theres an obvious progression there (and a leap into greater relevance with production from KAYTRANADA). I need to get over it, Chet Faker is no more. Maybe I should listen to "Missing Link" when I'm in a less stable, dyspeptic mindset to really get the full feel for it. There is something going on up there in that head of his and I want to find out what it is, but for now if you need me, I'll be over here listening to "Built On Glass" until my turntable combusts.