“Music does something/ Most don’t know what it does, they just accept it as the sky is blue/ But, for some people, they get a window half-open in their souls…” – emotive strings and jaunty drumming underscore opener Oh Me Oh My’s spoken-word intro. Then as soon as Nick Murphy (AKA Chet Faker) switches to trademark crooner mode, his syrupy, soulful delivery is both familiar and comforting.
After dropping an EP, album and instrumental record (initially released via the Calm meditation app) under his birth name, Murphy revived his Chet Faker project last October with Low: Hotel Surrender’s effortlessly cool lead single, which features crisp handclaps and swaggering bass à la Walk On The Wild Side.
Murphy’s second album under this moniker is a self-produced mood-enhancer, with dazzling instrumental details bursting from a pulsating undercurrent. Stand-out moments include the jazzy, piano-led Get High (“Just because I cry, it doesn’t mean I’m not strong”) and So Long So Lonely, with its subtle sax appeal and sultry, intoxicating harmonies. Murphy’s vocal melodies are deliciously unpredictable throughout, like a meandering butterfly’s flight path.
“I felt like the world was hurting,” Murphy reveals of his headspace going into the creation of this work, “so I thought, ‘I can do a small something to give people some joy’.”
Welcome to Hotel Surrender. It’s good vibes only; you’ll definitely wanna extend your stay.
Hotel Surrender by Chet Faker is out now via Detail Records/BMG.
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