It’s been a huge year for Chet Faker (Nick Murphy), finishing a successful Built On Glass world tour and now, he’s sealed the year with a four-track collaborative EP with London DJ and producer, Marcus Marr.
The duo met in a way that seems to be becoming more and more traditional; an exchange of compliments via twitter, then musical ideas via voice memos, then finally an agreement to come and work together. And the work only lasted four days, a song a day perhaps?
While there’s been a general response of positivity for the fun and generally funky EP, Work is unexpectedly unambitious. The beauty of Chet Faker’s music is that he is able to take what we know about pop, and move it to levels and places so foreign and unique, it becomes it’s own genre. On Work there isn’t much of that – it all feels quite familiar and rather ordinary.
The artists combine seamlessly, there is no denying that, ‘Killing Jar’ is one of the more stripped back tracks, showing off the pairs ability to thread together bluesy acoustics and harmonies with wobbly, futurist textures. And yet, the track, and the EP in general, is still lacklustre; that special something that made Chet Faker stand out in the first place is missing.
‘The Trouble With Us’ is quite a step outside the Chet Faker we’ve become accustomed too, however it feels like a step back to his clubbing days. It’s a dance worthy track that pivots around a funky, sun kissed bass line — at times hinting towards Daft Punk. It’s probably the most pop-esque track Murphy’s done, it could even be likened to something Ed Sheeran has evolved into nowadays.
The darker, house-heavy track, ‘Birthday Card’ is a notable track for its unique structure within the EP. Most of the tracks follow a standard pop structure of verses, choruses and hook; this track rides an expansive and flirtatious build. It’s the first track off the EP and possibly could have been a better direction for the duo. The tracks lyrics of uncertainty in love and self – the general theme across the EP – also feel more comfortable and genuine in ‘Birthday Card’.
For an EP made in four days, Work is commendable. It’s obvious its success won’t be as palpable and extraordinary as Chet Faker’s previous LPs and EPs. Work feels more like a reminder that Murphy’s talent still stands and that he can keep us hooked, beard or no beard, house beats or no house beats.