It’s fascinating to consider how an artist’s name influences how we interpret their music. Bowie, Madonna, Michael Jackson: their aliases are inextricably tied to their sound. So when an artist sheds their name – whether their given name or a chosen pseudonym – there is almost always a clarity to the new direction of their music.
Chet Faker will know this all too well, the Australian producer and singer-songwriter trading his previous alias for his given name, Nick Murphy. With the name change comes a revised sound – an ‘evolution’ in his own words, but to him, Chet Faker will always be a part of the music. His first track following the announcement, ‘Fear Less’, dropped mid-September, and immediately marked a darker, arguably more chaotic sound than the chilled electro-soul that culminated in his 2014 debut album, Built On Glass.
Continuing to ride this comparatively dark, more complex wave, Murphy has just dropped his second track under his given name, and the first to come off his as-yet unnamed album. Co-produced by Dave Harrington, ‘Stop Me (Stop You)’ begins as a gritty, magnetic number, showcasing electronic tones and, most importantly, his unique, soulful voice. These vocals are what ties this electrifying opening to the remaining third of the track, which sinks into a stripped-back affair, his voice coupled only with a gentle piano accompaniment.
Whether it’s Chet Faker or Nick Murphy, the man behind the music remains a formidable talent – and we welcome his return with open arms.