Photo by Lisa Frieling
Covers are a great way for artists to connect their influences to their own craft and play on our own expectations. Australia’s Chet Faker did just that with his take on “No Diggity.” The original is pure ’90s fun, but on his reimagining, Faker teases out some darker strains. It announced the young producer as one to watch–not coincidentally, he was one of KUTX’s picks for SXSW this past year.
Three years later, Faker finally makes his full-length debut with Built On Glass. It was reportedly a tortuous process; Faker admits he scrapped all the songs twice before finally settling on the finished version. But his tinkering pays off. Throughout, the textures are subtle, built around handclaps and ghostly samples. Faker takes his moniker from jazz legend Chet Baker, and it’s easy to hear Baker’s influence in the album’s nocturnal atmosphere. Faker also translates his precision to more dancefloor-ready sounds, like on the standout “1998.” The track simmers rather than explodes, but Faker’s mumbling portrayal of a relationship gone sour speaks volumes.