If someone asked you to name some Australian musical exports, your mind might instinctively jump to some decent rock bands and a couple of ex-soap stars. You’d be forgiven for struggling to come up with some legitimately exciting acts from the last couple of years.
However, recently there has been a lot of top quality electronic music drifting our way from down under. Riding this new wave of electronica is Melbourne native Nicky Murphy, under the moniker Chet Faker. Peaking interest with his cover of No Diggity in 2011, he has since brought out a solo EP as well as one in collaboration with fellow Aussie producer Flume, now finally releasing his debut album ‘Built on Glass’.
Faker is arguably a master of decks, sequencers and tiny keyboards, but pare that back and you’ll find a soul singer with a gift for crafting deep, emotive songs. Opening the album, he urges you to Release Your Problems, setting up the therapeutic tone of the tracks to come.
Talk Is Cheap, the album’s only single to date, is up next. A teasing saxophone drifts in and out, and a cardiac drum beat sits under Faker’s vocal. You can see why this was flagged for release, it’s a beautifully catchy yet soulful song, with a jazzy feel. Equally impressive in the album’s first half are Melt, a steamy duet with a lazy beat, and the clap-centric falsetto offering Gold.
Vinyl-inspired popping and cracking fills track seven, with a voice-over declaring- “This is the other side of the record. Now relax still more, and drift a little deeper as you listen.” A simple touch, but breaking the run of songs like this actually makes the album more digestible in a single sitting.
Blush brings Faker’s house influence to the forefront, and paves the way for the highlight of the album- 1998. In this track, he carefully layers up vocal samples and beats, pulling them back out at all the right moments like a master of musical jenga. Remixes have been made by the dozen, with the song itself rightfully exploding on music blog aggregator Hypemachine earlier on in the year.
Drawing inspiration from soul, jazz, house and electro-pop throught the album, Chet Faker has created a truly fresh sound. Aside from this rich blend of genres, Built On Glass is driven by lyrics that hold real emotion and substance, sung with real soul – a superb debut from a future star.
Faker brings his soulectro live show to The Academy in November and we will be first in line to check it out.