Returning to Australian shores for Vivid Sydney after a stellar run of international shows throughout 2016, Nick Murphy’s new music might initially surprise fans. A move to New York, a host of gigs and a name change has made for an interesting 18 months for the Melbourne-born musician formerly known as Chet Faker. And it’s in his music that his evolution is most apparent.
Speaking on the phone from New York, interrupted by blaring NYC police sirens, Nick explains how his new music is a direct reflection of the “weird journey” he’s experienced in the last year or so. “I’ve got these songs and they feel like they're bridging from where I've just come from to where I'm headed… I wanted to share where I'm going without getting there first,” says the 28-year-old musician.
Despite working on new music since the beginning of 2016, Nick initially wasn’t sure he’d be ready to premiere it by the time Vivid 2017 rolled around. But the promise of creative freedom on a show was tempting, and in the end it just “felt right” to premiere the new music at Vivid. “It felt nice to come back to Australia and do it at home,” says Murphy. “It's about doing what feels pure and real.”
Nick Murphy is no stranger to the Sydney Opera House, having played at the iconic venue three times before. However, his shows for Vivid Sydney 2017 will be nothing like what the artist has done before. The 360-degree view, ‘in-the-round’ shows will be the first testing point for the ARIA Award-winning artist’s new EP, Missing Link. The push-and-pull between Nick’s old and new music will underpin the shows; it'll be a mix of raw acoustic sounds interweaved with Murphy’s signature beats.
Tension and release are crucial aspects to Missing Link, something Nick has been figuring out throughout the last year. “I feel like I was exploring this sort of cathartic style on stage. That’s become a whole new aesthetic [for the show]. It's weird because it's very freeing. It might not sound like it, but it is.”
Diehard fans of Nick Murphy have undoubtedly noticed the differences between Missing Link and Murphy’s last major release, Work. Still soulful, still clearly “Nick Murphy” Missing Link is more uninhibited and experimental than previously released jams. While his songs still come from an idea or an experience, Nick says it’s less about approaching it scientifically and more about letting the idea guide you. “It’s a really weird process – you swing between being very conscious of where you’re coming from and what you're drawing from, but at the same time [you] just let the spirit do the rest.”
Visually, the Vivid Live shows will also be unlike anything fans are used to seeing. Murphy explains, “It’s brand new. It’s a pretty out there design, which I really like. It’s a direct reflection of the EP. ”I’m not going to tour it anywhere else afterwards. It’s really a one off.”