by Ruby Parsons
Nick Murphy’s Missing Link Ep is exactly what it says on the tin. Describing it as “A bridge between what’s out and what’s coming” it’s a transition and a reinvention.
Having previously worked under the name Chet Faker with multiple albums and tours under his belt, Murphy is already an expert. Already well rehearsed in the art of creating love and addiction in his music, he’s taken time out to rethink and re-invent and it was well worth it. Though I’d always been a Chet Faker fan it seems as though he’d taken that sound as far as he could and it was time for a much needed fresh start. Missing Link is more mature, coherent and experimental than anything we heard from Chet Faker. Nick Murphy has come out of his cocoon and blossomed almost as though his previous years in the music industry were leading up to this.
It’s still unmistakably the same artist, his distinguishable voice makes that clear, but the edges have been neatened, this sound is more finely tuned. He’s taking risks with his mixes sounding less soul and more EDM, harsher distortions and heavier backing tracks put him closer to artists such as Aphex Twin and You Love Her Coz She’s Dead. His voice is richer than we’ve heard it before and the samples he’s using are more unconventional but perfectly timed it creates a deeper level of immersion.
Lead single ‘Your Time’ is an addictive, sexy and flirtatious story with a low resounding beat. On first listen I didn’t realise it was a Nick Murphy track, sounding more like it would come from the likes of The Weeknd. Dropped a few pitches deeper and at the perfect head-rocking tempo it’s almost break beat, it’s incredibly smooth and it’s full of sex appeal. “Breaking all the rules because I’ve got to have you bad” and “you fucked up my thinking now I’m thinking more than twice” are examples of the blatant attention grabbing flirtation. His vocals sound incredible, using his voice in ways we’ve never heard before fitting perfectly with the backing track. Famed for some high powered collaborations such as Flume and Marcus Marr, this EP is no different, working with producer Kaytranada to create this first track.
The EP features a classic instrumental track called ‘Bye’ which sounds like it came fresh out of a Sleigh Bells recording session, messy and distorted but sleek as ever. The last three tracks are more of the same but with a larger vocal presence. Murphy’s transitions are impeccably smooth and his timing is perfect in every track, his bold move towards a new sound opens him up to a whole world of experimentation. Just these five tracks alone show how much he’s developed and explored change, something not a lot of artists are brave enough to do. This reinvention and new sound is set to take his live performance to a new level.
Missing Link EP is out now via Opulent Records.