“Visions run across my scalp like insects in the night,
the only thing to lose their way is the reason they’re in flight”
Right in time for summer, Chet Faker dropped his debut album, Built On Glass, recently to get you grooved into all the perks the season has to offer. If you’re in search of loungey, chill vibes for the warmer weather, it’s a necessary listen.
Built On Glass has been on my personal repeat list now for the last couple of weeks and has received rave reviews from the likes of Pitchfork, which is always a good foundation for a promising career.
If you feel like the name Chet Faker (real name: Nick Murphy) sounds familiar, then you have probably heard his cover of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity”, which he released on his debut EP, Thinking in Textures, in 2011. Reaching more than 4.5 million views on YouTube as the first song he ever put online, it’s safe to say that track was a huge jumpstart to his career. However, my personal first with Faker was “Left Alone”, his collaboration with producer Flume – be sure to check out the Lockjaw EP the fellow Australians teamed up on back in December.
Faker attended school for audio engineering, but never planned on actually becoming an artist himself. He somehow ended up getting into it, though, and with his educational background in mind, it totally makes sense that he appreciates the melodies of a song and use of space, and doesn’t overdo the vocals. I think this is best proven by my favorite song on the album, “1998”, where he keeps it simple with essentially one repeating verse reflecting on a supposedly broken relationship.
Faker’s soul-influenced electronic music does bear slight resemblance to the likes of James Blake from time to time, but that’s certainly not a bad thing and Built On Glass is less dark than most of Blake’s work. In his talk with Interview Magazine back in 2012, Faker revealed the roots of his sound. Speaking on his mother’s love for the Motown era, he states, “I think that’s where I got my love for a good hook, a good soul hook – really smooth and warm and from the heart.”Combined with his dad’s affection toward “chilled out Ibiza CDs,” these influences are evident throughout the album.
Another one of my favorites on Built On Glass is track 10, “Cigarettes & Loneliness”. When the beat drops at 2:48, bells start ringing in the background as Faker sings with longing words, “Love, what’ve you done with my tongue? I open my mouth, but you hear me wrong.” Intense, ultimate parts like this get me every single time, and there are many throughout the album.
If you like what you hear, consider yourself a pretty lucky duck, because Faker just started touring on May 16th. If you are not in Australia for one of his many shows this month, no need to worry – he’ll be in Germany, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom before summer’s end. View all of his tour dates here.