With the release of his full-length debut, Built on Glass, the Melbourne, Australia-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist Nick Murphy, best known as Chet Faker quickly became an international sensation for a silky smooth and soulful electro pop/electro R&B sound that many of my colleagues have compared to the likes of D’Angelo, Hall and Oates and others, although I can also argue that his sound actually seems to owe more of a debt to late 70s and 80s synth-based R&B as it’s incredibly intimate and sexy — but with incredibly modern production flourishes.
As a result of the attention on Built on Glass, Murphy has painted a superhuman and relentless touring schedule in which the Australian-born, Brooklyn-based has publicly admitted that over the course of an 18 month period that he hadn’t spent more than a few days in any particular time zone. This summer, Murphy has made appearances at a number of large festivals across North America, including Pemberton Music Festival, Osheaga Music and Arts Festival, Lollapalooza, San Francisco’s Outside Lands and FYF Fest, as well as a number of homeland shows in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.
Album single, “1998” consists of layers of sinuous, pulsing synths, cymbal-led percussion, swirling electronics, strategically placed bloops and bleeps, distorted vocal samples and pairs that sound with Murphy’s plaintive, wistful vocals that yearn for a simpler time — in particular, when a romantic relationship wasn’t fraught with the difficulties that make them seem inherently frustrating and heartbreaking. Interestingly, while Murphy has been remarkably busy, he’s also managed to be incredibly prolific; in fact, he recently released a subtle reworking of “1988” that features fellow indie pop sensation Banks adding her sultry vocals to sing a verse and part of the hook — and in some way, the addition of Banks’ vocals makes the perspective of the song’s narrator seem shared by his love object. In other words, they’re both confused, frustrated and seem uncertain what to do.