Australian soul/downtempo artist Chet Faker may be the biggest name in what we’re going to go ahead and dub “hipstertronica.” The folk and jazz-inspired style of beatsmithing he’s showcased on tracks like his 2011 cover of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” stands out as a unique tangent of an increasingly homogenized musical movement, and his success over the past several years has proven that sentiment to be universal. For that reason, when he announced the release of new material, the electronic music world waited with baited breath to see what he was going to bring to the table.
The first new gem to surface is “Bend,” a largely instrumental, Gorillaz-esque pop track that departs further from the confines of run-of-the-mill dance music. Dithering percussion and a bluesy guitar riff accompany Faker’s unmistakeable vocal chops, and the track goes so light on synth work that you hardly even notice it’s there. Seeing as how it still sounds like him but expands the parameters of his style further, we’re more than willing to put our stamp of approval on the track.
Faker dropped the song as the first of many to commemorate the last leg of shows on the tour for his debut album, Built on Glass. As he releases more, the question arises: Could these tracks be the first indicators that a follow-up album is in the works? Time will tell.