I think by the end of Built On Glass I knew that I was a producer. It’s definitely ongoing, one of the hardest things is that I wasn’t signed to a major label where you get given a million dollars.
chet faker no diggity piano chords – Chet Faker Is Back, And He’s Not Chet Faker Anymore
When Nick Murphy killed his Chet Faker alter-ego back in 2016, he simultaneously untethered himself from any associations or preconceptions fans had about him. It’s way different now then it was back then, there’s more pride in the Australian music scene now, because so many artists have taken it to an international stage. Australia has this weird thing where we look outside of Australia for a nod of approval. That’s proven in a sense, that now there is a pride in Australia just because we’ve had enough nods of approval from overseas. Now it’s a given that there is talent here. That’s awesome. I wish I was just getting started now, it’s a dope time to be figuring your shit out. When I was starting, that wasn’t going on, I was just kinda in my garage. I was doing the same thing, listening to Jai Paul and Suff Daddy, Miles Bonny and D’Angelo. None of those are Australian.
But now, five years after his debut release, Murphy is showing his true self with his sophomore album. His new music is different. Personal. More dialed back tonally, yet the strong songwriting still shines through.
It led to him playing sold out shows on five continents; appearing at major international festivals including Coachella and Glastonbury; performing on TV’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!; and hundreds of millions of views for his music videos including over 180 million for the Hiro Murai-directed clip for ‘Gold’.
It’s definitely ongoing, one of the hardest things is that I wasn’t signed to a major label where you get given a million dollars. I was paying for flights with my own money, I don’t have rich parents. I knew I couldn’t afford the full band situation that I wanted or needed. Thinking In Textures was a nightmare to play live, it ended up being pretty laptop heavy. I hate laptops on stage, but you’ve kind of gotta, sometimes. It’s definitely ongoing, and always will be. With this generation, computers are a part of music now. The shit you can do is so out of this world, there are so many ways to recreate it. You can have people hitting a bunch of pads like the ’80s, or you could have people trying to play it live where you might lose some of that production edge or whatever. It’s this weird happy medium that’s constantly being chased and chased, and it changes from song to song. It’s definitely ongoing but I like it, and enjoy it the more I do it.
I’ve always been a massive fan of background music – something that doesn’t distract you – but having said that, I’ve always listened to a lot of pop and soul, where although it could be background music, it’s still good song writing, you know? Just because you want something to sit in the background doesn’t mean you have to make it a boring song.
Since carving a slipstream with “No Diggity”, Chet Faker – the solo project from Melbourne’s Nick Murphy – has flourished in a mercurial form as a songwriter, producer and performer. Initial shows saw Nick planted behind a piano, beanie on head, in recital mode. As his festival billing swelled in font sizes both at home in Australia and internationally, an indeterminable transformation began to take place. There is grand space between instrumental performer and festival producer, and Chet Faker floats within that space. The recital element remains, but Nick now at times resembles producers you might find at dance festivals, standing behind an array of gear, moving with the music as samples are triggered with wireless mic in hand. A freedom, of sorts.
I want to do something that people can put on, and not necessarily focus on it; they could do work to it, or surf the web, but at the same time, they’re all songs that have meant something personal to me, so if someone did want to tune in and put time into listening to it, I wanted to make sure there was still something there. As for the party aspect – that’s probably just my age.
Chet Faker is a very talented musician with good stage presence and a diverse set of influences. Also, Terminal 5 has particularly good influences. Not the ideal show for people looking to get turnt but fun all the same.
I write and produce and record all of my own shit on my own, and I liked coming to that project as just a vocalist in a way. Just thinking about vocals and even kind of letting go a bit more, there are lots of things on that Lockjaw EP that I would change, but that’s what a collaboration is. The whole idea behind that was because I wanted to create a separate vision between my art, which is my bread and butter, and this opposite approach which was open arms and like, “let’s just make music and see what comes out”. Marcus Marr and I are actually working on another collaborative EP, which is coming out real soon.
There have been other changes in Murphy’s life as well. He’s left Australia and now lives in New York. And he’s grown away from the electronic soul sound that he had as Faker. On his new album, Run Fast Sleep Naked,” he offers a headier brand of orchestral pop that brings maverick artists like Jeff Buckley, Terry Reid and Van Morrison to mind.
Then, after much anticipation, out walked Nicky Murphy and his four band mates for a dynamic, eclectic, high energy performance of songs from Nick Murphy’s latest album Run Fast Sleep Naked, a few old favourites from his Chet Faker days, and even a track from his collaboration with Marcus Marr.
Several years after ditching the moniker that saw him rise to fame, Nick Murphy fka Chet Faker tells Marty Smiley why he had to burn his alter ego, how he got over on-stage anxiety attacks and what his parents think of his profession.
Most post-dads tend to be really cool and do awesome things, though there are some notable failures, like Jeb Bush. Chet Faker is evidently a post-dad; in fact, he might even be a post-post-dad, but no one can say for sure. Since being a post-dad is all about being dad-like without letting the contemporary concerns of fatherhood get in the way, Chet may have transcended this definition by embodying the Perfect Dad without producing any children whatsoever. It’s truly an admirable feat.
I want it to be a sacred space and when I step onto it, make it look and feel soft and inviting. I painted a vase that sits atop my piano. I also bring my own piano on a tour which I really enjoy. I have fresh flowers every night t the sho. I’ve actually have been inviting fans to bring flowers to the show and I put them around the stage. It’s something I really enjoy. It’s literally life. It’s creating intense life on stage. Also burning incense. Simple things you would do at home to feel more comfortable. I guess I’m trying to create that home on stage and invite them to engage with it. I found it makes a difference with the music.
The answer is no, not at all. In fact, the lumbersexual is really just a conceptual extension of the dad archetype. Lumberjacks celebrate strength and masculinity and danger. They embrace a rugged lifestyle that denies Western values and ideals. Now, the lumbersexual is a lumberjack softened by a Byronic tendency to seek out unrequited love. This is the essence of Chet’s parts: he looks like a lumberjack, and lumberjacks are big and masculine and good at protecting you, but he talks like a poet.
Overall, the show felt unexpectedly dialed back, relaxed, and soulful, rather than the sexy and electronic sounds I typically associated with Murphy. I felt like I was rediscovering an artist I’d been listening to for half a decade. With his iconic vocals paired with the powerful presence of the saxophone and bass, Murphy’s show was both delightfully surprising and personal.
In terms of dad material, the lead singer of Edward Sharpe is not promising. Alexander Ebert is the kind of Experimental Dad who raises his children on the road in a camper in the School of Life, inadvertently exposing them to non-monogamous free love practices because the confines of the camper are so cramped, whereas Chet Faker is the Ideal Wholesome Dad (and Lover).
What’s in a name change? Melbourne-born songwriter Nick Murphy made his breakthrough five years ago, under the name Chet Faker (a play on jazzman Chet Baker, whom he admires). He switched back to his real name in late 2016, and for him it was a musical moment of truth.
Run Fast Sleep Naked… I’ve actually had that title or mantra since I was a teenager. When I was 16 or 17, I used to write a lot of poetry when I was younger. I was kind of this hopeless, drunk romantic. I would come home wasted and write poems and stuff like that. The title of my first album was always supposed to be Run Fast Sleep Naked,” which is kind of a personal philosophy when I was that age, and it still is. It’s about engaging life and being voracious and try and consume all the good things. Suck the nectar out of it. I guess somewhere along the way, when things blew up with the Chet Faker stuff, I just forgot about it. I don’t think that title would’ve fit with Thinking in Textures or Built On Glass. I kind of forgot about it. Last year when I was finishing this record, I stumbled back across that title and thought this is perfect. This is exactly what this record is about.
Nick: I don’t think, honestly when i made that decison I knew that I would be talking about it for a long time. The one thing that was really hard to explain in a simple fashion was that the name had become a heavy coat that i would have to take off, as soon as i finished thinking about it all this music came flooding out. I knew it was… i just had to do what was most important musically for what it seemed crazy for my career. I had to do it for myself because i didn’t denote myself to consider my music was the most important thing, I wasn’t just doing this for…success or anything like that. So i think that was kind of the idea, but i think there is still a bit of time of it will always be a part of what i make I will always love making music like that.
Well, it’s not to say that each song doesn’t have a specific meaning and it follows something, there’s no lyrical landfill in there – just the main thing of the EP was to create the sound of the song. I wasn’t focusing on having a particular theme, I wanted the songs to speak about whatever they wanted to, but I wanted the texture to be consistent. It seems like an old school way of thinking but I wanted to do an release that someone could put on and listen to from start to finish and nothing felt weird or out of place.
Growing up on his dad’s chillout compilations along with vocal albums from the jazz great Chet Baker , Australian electronica artist Nick Murphy launched his career with a downtempo cover of Blackstreet ‘s “No Diggity.” Looking to avoid any confusion with the Australian singer of the same name, Murphy dubbed himself Chet Faker when he made “No Diggity” his first upload to the Internet in 2011.
Two models exemplifying this mode are “Be My Organ” and On Ice.” The former is sketched out in real time in the new video streaming on YouTube. The latter is a smoke-filled still life. Notes arpeggiate along a cool, motorik beat as Mullarney repeats you’re not moving,” his vocals vaporized and echoed. The former elevates on a percussive build, reaching its peak in the final strobe lit minute. Then there’s a late album flourish, The Road,” which, through pinwheeling repetitions beamed into four-on-the-floor framework — from Tycho drummer Rory ‘Connor — folds vibrating wavelengths into a symphony of fragmentary energies.
With major acts like Cut Copy and Empire of the Sun emerging from Australia’s electronica scene, it’s no surprise Chet Faker hails from Down Under. Creating the perfect music to chill out to, his soulful vocals are the highlight of his shows and add an organic twist to music based on looping beats and synth keyboards. Chet Faker’s 2014 headlining tour in support of his debut album Built on Glass will have fans dancing to his seductive beats all night long.
Co-produced with Dave Harrington and mixed by Murphy and Phil Weinrobe, Run Fast Sleep Naked is the latest in a series of widely acclaimed releases including Murphy’s 2014 full-length debut Built on Glass—a platinum-selling effort that won him seven ARIA Music Awards including Best Male Artist and Producer of the Year, and lead to him playing sold-out shows on five continents, appearing at major festivals including Coachella and Glastonbury, performing everywhere from The Boiler Room to The Ellen DeGeneres Show to Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and seeing his videos receive hundreds of millions of views and more.
Yes and no. I’ve always had this thing, where everything I work on has to be distinct. I think that’s why I always have trouble with a certain type of music that uses a lot of the same sounds – say trap, for example. It’s the 808 kicks, snares and hats. I just felt like as a musician I don’t just want to write a good melody, I want a write a good everything. I want to put the same creative flair into each step of the process. With Talk Is Cheap, that’s a good example. I think there was a punk naivety to that, there was a lot of trial and error. Built On Glass will probably be the hardest album I’ll ever write. It almost killed me. I almost went nuts. I didn’t know what I was doing, I was just trying, and trying and trying. It was a real anarchist approach to album writing.
It’s funny you say, that has been kind of a thing with touring this record. I suppose one of the major ideas about it is I’ve been kind of obsessed with making the stage a kind of shrine or place of warmth or comfort or peace. I don’t really know the words. Often stages can be quite harsh environments. There are all these hard edges and you have these instruments and bright lights. I’ve been adding sounds and materials around the stage. I bought some woolen knits. We’ve distressed them and hung them on the back of some instruments. I bought some Indian rugs and some warm totem materials and lots of bells and percussion. Lots of these small aesthetic items will be draped around the stage.
Released Friday 26 April via label Future Classic, the Dave Harrington co-produced record is Murphy’s first full length release since his widely praised 2014 debut Built on Glass (released as Chet Faker).
When there’s a sample it’s usually a direct reference of what the song’s about. I’m Into You is – well, you obviously know what I’m Into You is about. But I did actually get rid of the intro to Love and Feeling on the actual EP. I found it a bit too easy to reveal what the song’s about. But I’m obsessed with found sounds; I think a location recording or something a bit different can make it a lot easier to set a scene for a song, and plus, growing up listening to those chill-out albums, there’s so much of that going on. Something that can just take you away from where you are – and I think putting little weird samples can really help with that. And if anything makes it more interesting to listen too.
Chet Faker: Lo-fi for sure. Lo-fi is the key word there. I recorded it in a garage with a tin roof, I couldn’t record if it was windy or raining. The rain would make a noise and the wind would make the trees scratch on the roof. It was pretty rudimentary, really pieced together. Crap. I remember my soundcard blowing out smoke one day when it died. That was pretty funny at the time. It’s funny man, I had this really weird idea of what a balanced mix was back then. It’s changed now, probably just from spending so much time in the industry and listening to other music, I have a more normal perception of a mix with a full bottom end. Thinking In Textures, there’s no bass on the whole release.
In the making of his sophomore album Run Fast Sleep Naked, Nick Murphy spent four years traveling the world solo with a microphone in his suitcase, recording his vocal tracks in whichever spaces and environments most inspired him.
Chet Faker literally calling himself a dad. Also, I’m pretty sure me coma cu” means fuck me in the ass,” so the Brazilians have got it right. Perhaps the fuck me daddy” bandwagon has gone international — very exciting times for the cultural fetishization of dads.
But not really, every now and then it’ll pop into my head. But I think it depends on which way you approach it – there’s not a sound I have to make, it’s more like what sound do I want to make. When I’m writing music, I won’t try and direct a song into a specific direction, I’ll let it go where it goes. If it’s good enough I’ll put it out, but if it doesn’t fit in with what I want, it’ll just sit on my computer and I’ll try and find another use for it. It’s kind of a numbers game, I’ll write like ten of them and then pick the one which is the closest to where I want to go.
The album will be Murphy’s first full-length release since 2014’s Built On Glass, which was released under his former moniker. His 2017 EP, Missing Link was the first project released under the name Nick Murphy.
Returning home to New York in 2016, four years and several tours since the duo’s first release with Ghostly International, Thomas Mullarney III and Jacob Gossett knew the next direction would be different. Together they embarked on open-ended sessions, adopting a more linear style of songwriting compared to their previous loop and texture-driven method. They fundamentally constructed demos from piano chords and guitar phrases with vocal melodies, editing iterations almost ad infinitum, looking through each from a multitude of angles. Compositions expanded, while others pared back to where they began. Like the bending of light, this abstractive and patient process outlines a space and scale in which seemingly separate colors — minimalist ballads, elaborate pop spirituals, and driving dance sequences — can coexist at different speeds, fanning out with spectral cohesion. A prismatic collection Beacon call Gravity Pairs, which is set for a November 2nd release on Ghostly International.
I wasn’t really part of the scene. There was Galapagoose , Electric Sea Spider I don’t know those guys, I was just recording on my own. I was homies with the house scene, the underground house scene – like Lewie Day ( Tornado Wallace ) and Otologic , Francis Inferno , Mic Newman ( Fantastic Man ), Andy Hart – I knew all those dudes – Sleep D – and still do. My music doesn’t fit into that scene, but that’s the scene I came from. It obviously contributed to my music, but it didn’t shape it. We didn’t play the same gigs, I’m not running into them on the beaches of Ibiza.
From Flume & Chet Faker’s collaborative Lockjaw EP. To make Run Fast Sleep Naked, Murphy spent four years travelling the world solo with a microphone in his suitcase, recording his vocal tracks in whichever spaces and environments most inspired him.
Nick Murphy, formerly known as Chet Faker, has announced that his new album, Run Fast Sleep Naked, is set to be released on April 26 via Downtown Records. Nick Murphy, formerly known as Chet Faker, still rocks his signature beard.
Add Nick Murphy (Chet Faker) to your favourites to get the latest news and updates. Nick Murphy goes deep and details his rise from the Melbourne underground to the world stage. Murphy has also debuted a live video for ‘Sanity’ the soulful lead single from Run Fast Sleep Naked, which was written at Rick Rubin’s Shangri-La studio in Southern California.
Nick and Dave talk about the relationship between space and making music, plus the up-coming Nick Murphy Vivid Live show. With a catchy new single out, an album on the way, a massive European tour to begin this summer, and a new name, the future looks more than promising for Nick Murphy’s introduction to the world.