Chet Faker has a wonderfully beguiling sound that encompasses the perspectives and approaches of many of my favourite artists of the last twenty years. His moniker also happens to riff on the name of one of the greatest trumpeters outside of Miles Davis who could actually sing as wonderfully as he could play. In essence, this bearded Melbournian, by virtue of name and influence was already in my good books (key quote: “a subtle crescendo and the unmistakable yet slightly distorted croon of Thom Yorke make this track the auditory orgasm that it is”) with his luscious rework of a Radiohead’s ‘Nude’ entitled ‘North’. At first listen, nothing much seemed to be happening, until everything started happening. I knew it was something rather special. As Holly is regularly on the money, I could give her props for this tune, except by some ridiculous stroke of fate, the album ended up in my letter box first. Now I get to share the love, via the love shared to me, which is arguablythe best way you can ever discover music anyway.
By the time that you read this, Chet Faker will have been featured in Interview Magazine, played a select few shows at South by Southwest, announced a tour with Flume and been given many stars by multiple newspapers both in this country and abroad. It’s a lightspeed ascension that seems to happen to musicians in this country increasingly often at the moment, but thankfully in this case the mania is justified. If you’re a HypeMachine junkie, you may have been digging Chet’s vibe ever since he went about topping the charts there by covering Blackstreet, something I managed to completely miss at the time but is definitely worth checking out. It’s a good point of reference, however, for Faker (real name Nick Murphy, but who likes real names?), the same age as me and with a similar hodge-podge of aural cues that leans heavily on neo-soul stalwarts like D’Angelo and Maxwell but updates them with shimmering electronica and rich piano overtones. It’s achieved with varying levels of success across his first record, this symbiosis, but on ‘Terms And Conditions’, which is the single, it really shines.
It’s hard to pick what I like most about Faker’s work; his deep baritone slides that are about as subtle as putting on Al Green when you ask a girl up for a cup of coffee, or the precise and perfect smatterings of live keys over wobbly synths and handclaps that instantly draw you in and keep you there. This Faker sounds real while he’s doing it, performing and well as simply composing and letting the syncopated bass descent run it’s course until the minutes clock over. I can see this being performed live in a jazz bar somewhere, shrouded in smoke and the haze of dusty old ivories. There are many things you can manufacture with computers, but geniune soul is not one of them. So whether he’s singing or playing, just like his semi-namesake, Chet Faker is firmly set to ‘stun’.
Chet Faker – ‘Terms And Conditions’