Album Review: He’s still here – a refined and redefined Chet Faker checks us into ‘Hotel Surrender’- out now via Details Records/BMG

A gentle reminder of Nick Murphy’s ability to effortlessly bring genuine groove, this release marks a redefined Chet Faker that’s easy to play on repeat

The Breakdown

Detail Records/BMG 7.0

Five-time ARIA-award winning producer, songwriter and artist Chet Faker (aka Nick Murphy) has delivered his highly awaited sophomore album, Hotel Surrender via his own label Detail Records, in partnership with BMG.

Six years after stepping away from the Chet Faker identity, Melbourne-raised, New York-based Murphy revived the project last October and created a reintroduction of Faker’s hallmark, feel-good music. The result is the cathartic, pleasingly textured 10-track LP Hotel Surrender – written, recorded and produced by Murphy and mixed by Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, Flaming Lips, MGMT).

Completing the album during the first few months of COVID and finding respite in his small NYC studio, Murphy worked in isolation for the first time in years, writing songs that reached outward and strove to find joy in an otherwise dark time.

The low-key, reverberating swagger of opening track, Oh Me Oh My ushers back in familiar Faker melodies alongside Murphy’s spoken word and flickering strings. The album’s debut single and second track, Low is all atmospheric, echoing guitar and is unmistakably Faker with its serene, bluesy pop. The sense of a soothing retreat continues into Get High and shows Murphy’s swinging piano skills, set to a classic funk back beat. Whatever Tomorrow (the album’s third single) sees Murphy revert to more introspective, soulful and philosophical crooning.  

It’s Not You is an upbeat and heartfelt tale of consolation, which revisits Murphy’s emotive vocal range and flows along to a brass accompaniment. The fragile Peace of Mind slows things to a more brooding, low lit pace, followed by a return to stride on Feel Good, the record’s fourth single which is infectiously… good. The slow-groove piano and glorious vocals of I Must Be Stupid set a sorrowful dreamscape, which flows into the languid brass of the seclusion seeking So Long, So Lonely. Final track In Too Far concludes the collection gently; intimately honest and nostalgic.

Chet Faker launched to worldwide acclaim in the early 2010s with a handful of EPs, covers and remixes. His 2014 debut album, Built on Glass, won five ARIAs, topped charts worldwide and earned the #1 spot on triple j’s Hottest 100 that year. Under his own name, Murphy released the 2017 EP Missing Link as well as 2019’s acclaimed studio album Run Fast Sleep Naked. Signing to BMG last year, he shared Low as the first Chet Faker release since 2015.

As part of the Chet Faker renaissance, Murphy is set to play festivals including Austin City Limits 2021 and Primavera Sound 2022, as well as some North American headline shows in March 2022.

Hotel Surrender reminds us of Nick Murphy’s ability to continuously and effortlessly bring genuine groove, with this release marking a redefined Chet Faker that’s easy to play on repeat.

Hotel Surrender is out NOW via Detail Records/BMG

Buy/Stream HERE

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