As mentioned earlier in the week, I’ve been really vibing the new Nick Murphy (fka Chet Faker) EP, Missing Link.
As it’s made up of just five tracks, spanning 22 minutes overall, I’m going track-by-track to give a descriptive run down of each song on Missing Link.
‘Your Time (Prod. Kaytranada)’:
‘Your Time’ serves as the intro track. It easily has the most mainstream potential, thanks largely to Canadian producer Kaytranada and his always-grooving beats. Even if the title of the track didn’t credit Kaytranada’s production, it would be obvious this was his doing; it’s that simply distinguishable.
The track begins with the recognisably Kaytranada-sounding finger-clicks, found in his 99.9% favourite ‘YOU’RE THE ONE’, over a soaring and pausing synth build up. It doesn’t take long for Murphy to steal the show, chiming in with his forceful vocals. From this point on “the blood keeps pumping.”
‘Bye’ has Murphy going instrumental. For this reason, it feels out of place as the second track. It would have been better utilised as the opening song to lead into ‘Your Time’.
The track kicks off with the strumming of fuzzy acoustic chords, but is broken with an atmospheric, swirling synth and powerful drum beat. Although ‘Bye’ doesn’t contain any vocals from Murphy, it holds its own on the EP by painting its own picture, setting a cinematic scene.
On listening, I couldn’t help but visualise a body dramatically experiencing a downfall from a cliff. Or maybe even ‘Bye’ being played over a Matrix scene.
‘I’m Ready’ would be fighting for my favourite track on Missing Link. The introduction of the song is possibly the most challenging period on the entire EP, beginning with disturbing screeching and some glitchy computer button pushing. Once Murphy’s voice breaks through and the screeching subsides, it develops into a highlight of the EP.
The title may be portraying Murphy’s musical journey from the Chet Faker moniker to his birth name. Murphy’s finally ready to forge a new path and carve a more creative sound under his own name, after he “waited too long” to change.
‘Forget About Me’:
‘Forget About Me’ is rivalling ‘I’m Ready’ for the best song on Missing Link. Again, there is a strange, but much less muddled introduction, as a ghostly voice wails in the foreground.
A theme of Missing Link seems to be Murphy implementing unique instruments and sounds, which is exemplified in ‘Forget About Me’. The eerie howls are broken by bell chimes and violins, which are short-lived as Murphy’s urgent vocals and an energetic drum pattern. Another element that is becoming a staple of Nick Murphy’s new sound is the zappy synths, which are building throughout the background of ‘Forget About Me’.
‘Weak Education’ serves as the closing track of the EP, but feels like it could’ve slotted straight on to Chet Faker and Marcus Marr’s collaborative EP, Work, back in 2015. It may be down to the extended structure of ‘Weak Education’, running for 5:39, that was represented in most of Work.
Murphy’s isolated voice around the middle of ‘Weak Education’ draw comparisons to Work’s hit-single, ‘The Trouble With Us’, mainly due to the unmistakable “ooohs” of the singer. Similarly, the outro to ‘Weak Education’ sounds distinctly alike to the opener on Work, ‘Birthday Card’.