Since he first emerged almost a decade ago, Chet Faker aka Nick Murphy has always presented himself as an unpredictable character. Despite the enormous success behind his 2014 debut album 'Built On Glass', he chose to revert back to his birth name for the subsequent releases, making us feel that Faker was simply a short-lived alter-ego for the artist. But after a difficult year that saw him locked down during the pandemic and losing his father as well, he has revived his former moniker for his latest full-length 'Hotel Surrender', a record that is equally about looking back as it is looking forward.
Describing his return as Chet Faker as a form of "mass therapy" in order to feel comfortable with the new shape of the world ahead of him, 'Hotel Surrender' never really feels like a man coming to terms with anything too dramatic. Instead he picks up almost exactly where he left off, and delivers a wonderfully smooth and intoxicating array of psych-pop gems that perfectly compliment his revival. While his work as Nick Murphy still trod this line, there is something distinctly otherworldly about the Chet Faker guise that makes for a brilliantly woozy listen from start to finish.
It may not have been the scenario he would have liked to revive his former incarnation, but 'Hotel Surrender' is a rare delight in his catalogue to date, given that it was born out of such a difficult time. There is progressive flair and a jovial attitude running the length of his new collection, the sound that we have always admired from the Chet Faker era.