sat 28/05/2022

Album: Chet Faker - Hotel Surrender | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Chet Faker - Hotel Surrender

Album: Chet Faker - Hotel Surrender

Mellow and feel-good white soul

Chet Faker is Melbourne-born musician Nick Murphy’s alter ego, an avatar he has stepped in and out of with gentle grace over more than a decade of finding a voice that's very much his own. Once described in The Guardian as a purveyor of “mellow-electronic-pop”, he is actually something else, closer to the sensuality and slow drag of soul, lilting along to very relaxed beats that have an almost trip-hop feel.

“Hotel Surrender” is an apt title for an album that has that otherworldly insouciance found in the well-scrubbed anonymity of a hotel. There is also the soothing quality that comes from being rather than doing and allowing oneself to be comforted by the embrace of the here and now. Faker has spoken of his wish to make a feel-good album, and his latest release is perfect medicine for anyone wishing to lie back and go with the flow. There is an almost liquid quality to the production (Faker’s own), backing vocals that are subtly tweaked with reverb and other electronic tools, and beautifully crafted instrumentation that serves rather than shows off – deceptively simple and yet designed to bend the mind of the listener.

“I want to take a break from myself” Faker sings in “Get High” (surely one of the gentlest-ever calls to losing one’s everyday mind). This is music that floats rather than asserts itself, reflecting something essential about an artist who has struggled with introversion and stage fright, and yet wears a tender heart on his sleeve. He is another of those delightful men who sport beards that barely hide their softness and sensitivity. 

On “I Must be Stupid” he demonstrates that he can sing soft soul as well as the best of them. With only piano and guitar, he resists the temptation to be symphonic, and on “So Long So Lonely”,  a beautiful song that moves with extraordinary slowness, he confesses that he has “been turning myself so blue”. He shares his faith in the healing power of music, when he sings “but now that I’ve found myself in music/ I’m gonna sing it right, I’m gonna sing it through”.

This is music that floats rather than asserts itself


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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