Why Do We Get Angry When Artists Change
  • THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 03, 2016

  • Posted by: Kirsten Spruch

[Photo Credit: Philistine DSGN]



New York-based Australian singer/producer Nick Murphy, formerly known as Chet Faker, has released the very first single off of his first album under his given name, "Stop Me (Stop You)." The eight minute long cut consists of two separate halves, the first being an intense electronic explosion and the second, a somber piano ballad with the melancholic vocals highlighted. Murphy explains, "'Stop Me (Stop You)' is essentially two inseparable songs. Ying and yang of past and present."

Some would say that this change of name marks a musical rebirth, and we think that's absolutely correct. Although Murphy is continuing to make electronic music, there's a different energy to it. It's darker. It's confident. It's...proof that Murphy is indeed, a human who grows. We've seen a lot of artists change their musical style over the years, more recently Lady Gaga with Joanne, Bon Iver with 22, A Million, Grimes with Art Angels, etc.

What do we do when we watch our favorite artists transition into something else right before our eyes? Should we get angry because, Ugh! Fame Monster was just so good, Gaga should have replicated it on the rest of her albums forever? Or do we realize that, hey, the person making this music is actually a real human being (*gasp*), and they probably won't make the same music for their entire life because that would mean they will stay in the same place forever. I mean, no one listens to only one band forever right? The place from where we draw inspiration is constantly changing. When comfort becomes a normal feeling, it's time to change.

We've gotten some of the best work from artists after they change. For instance, Grimes. We fell in love with her experimental bedroom-produced songs like "Oblivion" and "Genesis." Of course, they were always pop, but the pop was hidden under a lo-fi, DIY fog. Then, with Art Angels, she said to hell with the lo-fi fog! and gave us "Flesh Without Blood," "Venus Fly (ft. Janelle Monae)," and oh my god, "Kill V. Maim." They still sound very much like Grimes, but when it first dropped, the internet noticed the "flashy production" and went into a frenzy, with comments like "it is extremely polarizing for her fans".



Should any artistic change ever be polarizing for fans? Sure, if the fans are coming from an indie place and then suddenly hear this mainstream sheen, it can be jarring - even disappointing - at first. However, wouldn't a true fan want to follow an artist through their career and watch their growth? It's exciting.

If it's still unclear, we really like Nick Murphy's new song. Co-produced by Dave Harrington, Murphy uses this track as an opportunity to paint a picture of both his past and new influences all wrapped into one. We love seeing Murphy grow, and when we get familiar with the new tunes, we'll be growing alongside him.
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