There's nothing easy about deciding on the top 10 Chet Faker songs. The man is a brilliant musician, simultaneously embodying the personas of both a DJ and a performer. His discography is saturated with hits and anthems, but I believe the following have distinguished themselves amongst others. Now watch me boldly go where only a few outdated websites have gone before in attempt to rank Chet Faker's discography.
10) SOLO SUNRISE
There is a strange and almost eerie beauty to this track. Off of the EP Thinking In Textures, Solo Sunrise carries with it an interesting array of emotional power. It's not quite the type that one would recognize in "Archangel" or "Terms & Conditions". The track is structured upon a framework that can almost be interpreted as "melting". The lyrics are dragged out in a style comparable to Dali's "Melting Clocks" painting. The echoing track, although coming in last on the top 10 list, is by no means least on Chet Faker's remarkable discography.
The intro to “1998” is a departure from the average Chet Faker track. The tune, appearing on the 2014 album Built on Glass, presents a perfect example of Chet Faker’s musical versatility. I can almost immediately respect an artist capable of both delivering their sound by means of electronic and acoustic equipment without diminishing from the artistic direction. “1998” proves this to be a natural undertaking for Chet Faker.
8) Love & Feeling
There’s something about this track that sends me into a deep trance, thinking about the power of honesty, both emotional and sexual. It’s by all means a provoking subject, but the way Chet Faker communicates it through the beautiful lyrics of “Love & Feeling” make it seem almost an ordinary subject matter. Through calming basslines and minor synth undertones, the track underlines the impossibility for our bodies to lie the way our minds do. But who knows, maybe that’s just me.
Of all the songs that Chet Faker has released in his 4 EPs, 1 Live Session, and one studio album, “Archangel” carries with it the most soul and emotion. The organ-esque keyboard work that introduces the main progression slowly works its way out of the darkness towards increasing volume and texture, like a flickering candle slowly burning brighter. The poignant lyrics are then softly introduced, “Holding you, I'll never be alone/Kissing you, you tell me I belong” followed by a fade of the first portion. The track then explodes in your ears with raw emotional power as Faker bellows the lyrics of the second part, tied in with defined organ chords. Archangel is truly the song to listen to when in need of a guardian.
6) Terms & conditions
Here’s another ideal example of Faker’s signature synth sound. It begins with a brightly toned key progression, later layered with bass and finally the beautiful vocals. I believe this track brings out the true themes of Chet Faker’s musical portfolio, if you will. It is without question that a large portion of the artist’s material captures the concept of love. However, the truly impressive fact is that no two Chet Faker tracks capture the concept under the same light. From the emotional, to the physical, to the passionate, Faker’s music has touched upon it all. “Terms & Conditions”, on the other hand, discusses the notions of greed and lust as well as the ways in which they fall short of affection, arguably stated most clearly through the closing lines, “Oh she lusts on me/Not enough to last on love”
5) Talk is cheap
“Talk Is Cheap” was the first single off of Built On Glass, Chet Faker’s first debut studio album. This trip-hop anthem packs more soul into under 4 minutes than the average R&B songwriter. I call it trip-hop primarily because of the style that Faker implemented for the drumbeat, richly strung and staccato-stylized crashes and kicks. The omnipresent chorus chants the lines “Talk is cheap, my darling/When you're feeling right at home/I wanna make you move with confidence/I wanna be with you alone” with such passion that I can’t help but close my eyes and wander off almost every time I listen.
4) No diggity (live session)
I want to start by saying had this not been a cover, it could have potentially been second if not first on this list. I want to also say that the Live Session version of this track beats the studio version on almost all fronts. One of the many reasons I adore this track so much, aside from its featuring a bearded Australian gently vocalizing 90’s hip hop into modern indie, is that it gives fans a taste of Chet Faker without the heavy electronic layering they get from his studio work. No Diggity’s Live Session version embodies the raw sounds of the artist’s acoustic abilities, exhibited by both real instruments and untouched vocals.
3) I'm into you
Of all the tracks off of Thinking In Textures, “I’m Into You” has one of the most bittersweet overtones. Amongst the track’s more impressive attributes is are the forms through which this overtone is communicated, both by means of lyricism and instrumental harmony. Certain sounds seem compressed whilst others appear fairly rich and full, the combination of which is exceptionally satisfying to the ear. However it is the lyrical work that truly earned this track its spot in the top 3. The track begins with the lines “I got a feeling we are gonna win/Our bodies make it perfect and your eyes can make me swim”, essentially setting the scene for its nuance. A newly released non-cliché love song is a certified rarity in today’s musical age, but through strong imagery and soulful deliverance, Chet Faker managed to produce a journey of emotional sensual desire in just under four minutes and thirty seconds.
2) Drop the game (ft. flume)
Now I love Flume’s sound just as much as the next bohemian (I’m desperate to resurrect that word). That said, whenever I see that little “ft.” abbreviation I default to the fairly warranted skepticism that there’s going to be way too much of one artist and a near absence of the other, ironically often the one that produced the track in the first place. Drop The Game disproved both of these assumptions, which I will admit I made, within the first 5 seconds of listening. Most people are quite familiar with the “Flume sound”, mostly consisting of synthesized horns and kick drum-driven progressions. However overpowering we know this sound to be, this track modulates it perfectly. It complements the vocals rather than overpowering them, and adds to Chet Faker’s sound rather than reworking it. As for the track itself, the powerful air is made evident right from the get-go with the chanting vocal intro, then cycling into the classic vocal/synth harmonics of Flume and Chet Faker in collaboration.
Picking a number one for this list is a lot like deciding on your favorite child; you’re pretty sure you have one, but you’d best keep your opinion to yourself. My decision on selecting Gold from Chet Faker’s 2014 album, Built On Glass, was one that I could only have made after seeing the accompanying music video. The video features three young women gracefully dancing and swaying down a dark empty highway in roller skates (there’s a plot twist at the end, but I’ll leave that discovery to you). Gold features a remarkable collection of rich sounding synth bars, sequenced in stunning harmony with on-key vocals. The layering of the unique clavinet-sounding chords over the line “I might as well be in a garden” instills me with euphoria every time I hear it. Gold is a prime example of the feeling-driven sound that Chet Faker runs on and I'm confident we can all agree that it is that very feeling that we search for when rummaging through the vast shelves of the record store. Or Soundcloud. Mostly Soundcloud.