Album Review: Built on Glass by Chet Faker


Artist: Chet Faker
Album: Built On Glass
Hometown: Melbourne, Victoria
Genre: Electronic

After Chet Faker‘s stunning EP Thinking In Textures of 2012, his highly anticipated debut album Built On Glass has already generated substantial hype and praise following its official release last Friday.

Maybe it’s all in his stage name (after legendary trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker), but I for one can’t get past the fact that Chet Faker (aka Nicholas James Murphy) seems to modernize a vaguely jazz influence with his electronic sounds. Just one listen to that ambient keyboard line in “Release Your Problems” and I’m instantly transported to a smokey, underground New York jazz club. It strikes me further to hear that incredible wailing sax in Talk Is Cheap, reminding me of Vancouver group Destroyer’s track “Kaputt” from 2011.

“Melt” is quite simply perfection. It’s one of the tracks on Built on Glass that reveals the intense amount of effort that Chet Faker has put into the album, with a stellar vocal cameo from Kilo Kish – a voice that has managed to match Murphy’s own unique timbre.

By the end of the album, we are reminded that Chet Faker is primarily an electronic artist, albeit a unique one at that. 1998” exhibits a memorable beat and perfect spacing when needed.

This record is one that grows on you. Upon first listening I must admit that my initial reaction was disappointment. Particularly from the second half of the album, I was a bit taken aback by the almost annoyingly repetitive loops and experimental nature of tracks such as “Lesson In Patience”. However after several more listens, I can see more clearly now how each track fits into the release – Chet Faker really has created a work of art and an important contribution to the electronic music genre. Be sure to give it the time it deserves to appreciate it in full.

And if you haven’t seen the video for “Talk is Cheap” yet, it’s about time you had a gander. Dark, but oddly mesmerizing:

You can catch Chet Faker’s glorious beard (and music of course) at Splendour In The Grass later this year (full lineup to be announced in late April), and grab a copy of his album now on iTunes, Spotify or in store.

By Erin Rooney


Venue Picks: The Barber Shop

The Barber Shop

Hidden away in a dark little corner of Sydney city, The Barber Shop is a secret music gem for all lovers of jazz and French tattooed bar tenders.

When I first heard their name “The Barber Shop”, I got really excited by the prospect of walking in to find a barbershop quartet singing sweet poppy tunes. Whilst there was no singing quartet, the venue rocked a 1920s look and a cosy space, hosting a smooth, smooth five-piece jazz band on Thursday nights. Amongst their music services, they also offer hair cuts to men with a free cocktail in the process, serve local crafted cider The Apple Thief and create exceptionally pretty (though pricy) cocktails.

Full to the brim, the crowd is spread with in-the-know, young, trendy professionals cooling off after work and a couple of older jazz lovers here and there. The whole back alley carries this same feel, with whiskey bar The Baxter Inn just opposite, leaving options open to kick on after you’ve had your fill of cool jazz (their Whiskey Apples are to die for!).

You can find The Barber Shop down an alleyway at 89 York Street, Sydney – don’t forget to don your finest dapper outfit.

This venue in a song:

By Erin Rooney