Chet Faker >> How do I describe Chet Faker’s performance at the famous Hollywood hotspot The Roxy last Tuesday evening? A few words come to mind: unique, chill, and sultry.
The heavy bearded hipster-looking dude is an aspiring independent Australian-born artist named Nicholas James Murphy. At first glance, he seems to belong in a smoky Colorado coffee shop with an acoustic guitar belting out fragile tunes in his flannel shirt and beanie instead of on stage at a sold-out Electronica show in West Hollywood. But that’s what makes him unique.
Best known for his 2011 slow cover of Blackstreet’s ‘No Diggity’ as well as his popular collaborations with Flume, Chet Faker—named in honor of the late West Coast Jazz musician Chet Baker—proved that his own style is just as enticing and notable as other popular artists.
With sounds comparable to James Blake or Jeff Buckley-meets-Electronica, Murphy used auto tune and pitch shift as musical aids rather than corrective tools to enhance his unexpectedly powerful vocals. His blend struck me as being ‘Soul Electronica’ if such a genre exists.
Having had his debut album ‘Built on Glass,’ released for only a month and already selling out shows, the post-college age [and really attractive] WeHo crowd is an indication of who we can expect to keep him in demand.
On the one hand, his dance-worthy and more popular beats brought in the EDM kids. On the other hand, the chill, sultry and make-out worthy tunes that comprise the bulk of his tracks attracted a plethora of couples. I’m talking not just in front of me, but on both sides and behind me as well. In fact, there weren’t many non-couples in the crowd.
The medium-sized, relatively intimate venue was a great place for Murphy to connect with the amused audience. He gave a little history on himself and his inspirations, told great stories between sets, and even temporarily stole a patron’s cell phone so he could enjoy the show live rather than record it. For a newcomer to the Electronica world, his successful attempt to bond with us proved a positive way to build up his fan base.
As an independent artist who writes, plays, produces, funds, etc. all his own music, he made it known that though he’s here now, he put in a lot of work to get to this place. And it shows.
I have come to the early conclusion that the 24-year-old is a young man to watch. I think once he plays more shows as Chet Faker [he plays in other bands as well], develops this persona, and adds more visuals to the set he will one day have his own stage at Coachella and selling out much larger venues.