Built On Glass (Maple)
Chet Faker is billed as an electronic musician, but if last year’s cover of No Diggity didn’t tip you off, his debut album proves the Melbournite’s got serious soul.
The downtempo production is mellow and broody – often like a more clear-headed Noah “40” Shebib. But that’s warmed up with yearning vocals and R&B sensibilities. There’s a song called 1998, but references to that decade are rooted a lot earlier in the 90s (more Dance Mix than Much Dance), and once in a while – especially on standout single Talk Is Cheap – there’s a Mr. Big To Be With You thing bubbling just below the electro-soul surface.
On Blush, Faker displays his best knob-twiddling. To Me is a Motown-inspired gem with the most perfect horn blasts (they sound like a passing train). The vocals on Lesson In Patience are almost spiritual, while Dead Body is downright bluesy. Faker picks his lone guest star wisely: ultra-cool Brooklynite Kilo Kish adds sass to the already sizzling Melt.
However varied the influences, there’s one thing the songs have in common: they all make you feel some type of way.
Top track: Talk Is Cheap
Chet Faker plays the Hoxton May 19.