I have the tendency to judge a book by its cover. I mean this both literally and figuratively, as I’m only interested in reading books with sweet covers and, in the broader sense, I prefer things that sound right, look right or feel right. Which is exactly why I didn’t want to listen to Chet Faker, because it’s a stupid stupid name.
Chet Faker is an Australian electronica musician who does have a pretty cool beard and a plethora of headshots on the Internet. When I first heard his name, I assumed he was some kind of Timeflies/Hoodie Allen/Jackass Jones artist who relied solely on a semi-unique, tongue-in-cheek name and rearranged covers of 90s R&B songs to get white college kids to play his music during pregames. His fourth most popular song on Spotify is currently a cover of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.” (It’s very good but you get the idea).
I recently rediscovered Chet Faker on the New Music Tuesday Spotify playlist and was blown away by how stupid my initial gut reaction had been. “Talk Is Cheap” is a single from the 2013 album “Built On Glass” that Chet Faker released earlier this year and it’s the perfect early winter song.
The intro features a saxophone that guides you naked into an icy pool of water somewhere deep in the middle of the woods, so deep that the animals are unbothered by your presence. You wade into the water, expecting tendrils of ice to shoot up your leg, but somehow it’s warm.
The beat fades in, simple and relaxed. There’s a yearning in his voice that warns you of pain but doesn’t push you away. It’s not a sad song, I don’t think. It’s just a song that makes you feel. I imagine that this would be the kind of song I’d listen to sitting by my fireplace, warm drink in hand, toking on a bubble pipe (because I don’t smoke, it’s bad for you silly!) and reading my former roommate’s most recent copy of GQ because he hasn’t changed the address yet.
I was silly to assume that Chet Faker was nothing more than a YouTube artist with a fun name. He’s got a great sound, a cool beard, and he’s got cool album artwork, which makes it even easier to like him, because I still judge books by their cover. Until I’m proven wrong.