[ Overview ]
So, there’s a chance you have never heard of Nick Murphy, but still have heard Nick Murphy. Until 2016, Murphy was known as Chet Faker, whose cover of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” racked up streams and was featured in a Super Bowl beer commercial in 2013. But after his debut Built on Glass in 2014, the Australian native has only released a few EP’s before finally returning with Run Fast Sleep Naked.
Murphy’s first record under his own name is not much different than his last under the Chet Faker alias. It’s still full of lush soundbeds with his low key, soulful vocals. The album opener “Hear It Now” meshes Murphy’s reaching voice with a bubbling undercurrent. It’s an odd choice for an album opener, but strangely, it works. “Harry Takes Drugs On The Weekend” builds ever so slowly on this, with a shifting synth sound that sounds positively aluminum. It gives the sense that the record is building towards greater moments, and that finally arrives on “Sanity”. Murphy sounds positively invigorated here, an auditory cornucopia of blurps, beeps, shimmering synths and circular keys. “My sanity, it comes to question/But I need to have someone to burn up all my good attention/t's like honey inside my head/But could you give it up/To change the pace before you crawl into my bed?” The hook is sticky, and sounds great whether you’re driving with the windows down or bopping to it sitting around at home.
There are several experiments on Run Fast Sleep Naked that make Murphy sound like he’s willing to take a different path down but can’t quite settle on it. “Sunlight” has a backbeat that doesn’t sound out of place on a Stranger Things score, while “Yeah I Care’ utilizes string arrangements that sense an underlying tension that marries the nervy vocal delivery of Murphy. “Dangerous,” one of the best of the bunch feels like a hazy memory with cresting keyboards and ethereal background vocals. It sounds truly different than anything out there.
Run Fast Sleep Naked feels like a record in transit. Murphy is still in the process of discovery of who he is as an artist. Its sounds like a labor of love, endlessly poured over by its creator. But instead of a grand statement, it’s a connective tissue – one we’ll look at fondly when he gets to the next step. Don’t count it out -some of the best surprises come from music like this.
- Brendan Hilliard, Obviate Media
[ Listen ]
[ Album Information ]
LP - Black
- Track List -
Side A: Hear It Now - Harry Takes Drugs On The Weekend - Sanity - Sunlight - Some People - Yeah I Care
Side B: Novacaine and Coca Cola - Never No - Dangerous - Believe (Me) - Message You At Midnight
Release Date: April 26, 2019
Record Label: Future Classic