This EP has one of the most appropriate titles I’ve seen in quite a while. Melbournian music-maker Nick Murphy, otherwise (and better) known as Chet Faker, does indeed think in textures, on the evidence of his seven-track debut. It’s full of nuances and subtle sounds: laid-back enough to chill to, but not so much that it would be better off as background music. It’s those textures again, see: there’s actually a hell of a lot going on, even if it doesn’t sound like it at first. If you’re not won over by the one-two punch of I’m Into You and the title track, Thinking in Textures probably won’t be for you. I’d like to see you try to resist, though.
The opening salvo is followed by a wonderfully loungey cover of Blackstreet’s No Diggity, and props must be given to Murphy for his impressive vocal performance. He knows what he’s doing, and seems to be well aware of how easily an unnecessary risk can backfire; thankfully there are no missteps on Thinking in Textures. The EP frequently mixes subtlety with impressive beauty; the looping four-note hook that underpins Chocolate and Cigarettes is immediately arresting, and helps set the stage for Murphy’s pitch-shifted and echoing vocals, which are sampled and cut up at different points, serving their purpose not as indicators of melody, but as effective accompaniment to the song’s slinky bassline, and as a result creating one of the most euphoric songs of the year so far.
The seriously groovy Love and Feeling displays further avenues for Murphy to explore in future, while his pedigree as a songwriter is displayed on the wonderful Solo Sunrise. My favourite song from the EP changes from one day to the next. Simply speaking, a lot it sounds like it’s cut from similar cloth on first listen, but further exploration reveals hidden depths. Whatever about having to hide behind a pseudonym for his recording adventures, Murphy has shown that, in other areas, he’s imbued with a refreshing confidence, and it’ll certainly stand to him.
Thinking in Textures is out next week on Chess Club Records, but you can stream some of the EP below:
Cigarettes and Chocolate:
Love & Feeling:
I’m Into You:
Terms and Conditions: