After teasing us all through mysterious videos across social media last week, Nick Murphy (fka Chet Faker) surprises the world with a hump day delight in the form of the ‘Missing Link’ EP, an intriguing collection of mixed elements that push the boundaries of composition and melody even further.

Following on from the stand alone releases of ‘Stop Me (Stop You)’ and ‘Fearless’ clocking over 3 million streams collectively on Spotify, an exclusive appearance at St Jerome’s Laneway and an early contender for collaboration of the year with Bonobo on ‘No Reason’, ‘Missing Link’ sees Murphy challenge himself in both intricate production and his raspy vocal range that pays extreme dividends as the EP progresses.

From the get go, the Kaytranada produced ‘Your Time’ grabs your attention with a brooding synth that carries the introduction. Murphy’s vocals are carefully restrained to maintain the theme of sensitivity that quickly build with strong emphasis in cohesion with the booming percussion. The track holds heavy reliance on the piercing snaps, bleeding in through the mix adding clever intensity throughout the chorus when combined with the sharp sounding snare.

An experimental nature is asserted immediately in ‘I’m Ready’ through a screeching sample and synthetic elements jumping around in the back of the mix. The reverbed nature of Murphy’s vocals creates significant space and ambience through the track which is only heightened in the chorus when the pumping percussion kicks in. Murphy continues to change things up when you least expect it in this track, as he finds an interesting way to introduce an acoustic guitar fill that acts as a clever breakdown moment in the soundscape.

The highlight of the 5-track EP stands in ‘Weak Education’, an infectious groove filled delight. As the track builds through a charismatic bass line and a cut-off vocal, once the chorus drops you can instantly imagine yourself in a festival scenery joining all the punters losing themselves to the ‘banger’ feel that lies within. Although there is so much going on within this one, Murphy does not seem to overcomplicate the mix at all with the carefully calculated placements of each individual element.

‘Missing Link’ sees Nick Murphy experiment in a vast range of different realms to create an incredible ensemble of five diverse tracks. If this EP is anything to go buy, we are set for another dominating year from the Australian producer.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Fans around the world can catch Nick Murphy on his ‘Missing Link World Tour’ on the below dates – click the artwork for more details

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author: Chris Salce

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