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At the top of 2020, after a year of traversing the globe in support of 2019’s Run Fast Sleep Naked, Nick Murphy began creating music that simply felt good. Though the singer had retired his billion-streaming Chet Faker project four years prior, the new songs he was working on in his New York City studio had an energy reminiscent of his earlier work. Reviving the project “wasn’t on my radar” at the time, Murphy admits, but the next thing he knew, he had a full album.
The result is Hotel Surrender, a radiant 10-track LP full of swaggering bass lines and electrifying melodies that reintroduces Chet Faker to the world – and to Murphy himself. Like his debut LP, 2014’s Built on Glass, Murphy wrote and produced Hotel Surrender solely on his own, finishing most of the songs before COVID-19 hit in March 2020. Just after the pandemic caused a worldwide shutdown, Murphy lost his father, and suddenly the new feel-good music took on an even deeper meaning.
“There were a lot of heavy perspective shifters for me,” he recalls. “I really just thought of the music in a different light. I look at it as a mass therapy now. I think I used to see it as this plight, like I was on a crusade or this creative odyssey. Now I see that it’s more Shamanistic. You’ve got to find some light—or sometimes dark, whatever’s right—and share it. I realized that was the heart of the Chet Faker project. And I felt like the world was hurting, so I thought, ‘I can do a small something to give people some joy.’”
What Murphy also recognized was that he was granting himself joy, too. He admits that before Hotel Surrender, he had never approached his process with such ease. This time, as the album title suggests, he surrendered to the music. “There was this, like, unconsciousness—not thinking, but just feeling, letting it come out and letting it steer itself,” Murphy says. “The great lesson for me was that I could write from a place of joy. I was also just being kind to myself. None of this music was hurting, it just felt good. It made me feel better, and it helped me be better.”
- 1. Oh Me Oh My (Digital Version)
- 2. Low
- 3. Get High
- 4. Whatever Tomorrow
- 5. It's Not You
- 6. Peace of Mind
- 7. Feel Good
- 8. Stupid
- 9. So Long So Lonely
- 10. In Too Far