Somebody that I want to know
Wally. Walter. Wouter. Gotye.
By whichever name you choose to refer to him by, he is the voice behind the song that seems to resonate with everyone who hears it. Somebody that I used to know is an internationally successful single that even celebs like Ashton Kutcher and Lily Allen have been tweeting about.
Gotye is the stage name for Wouter De Backer. A Belgian born Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. For those of you wondering how he came up with the title Gotye, you should know that Wouter in french translates to Gaultier. Which happens to be an old pet name his mother affectionately called him, and so Gaultier became Gotye and three albums are the result of his work. He is also a part of The Basics, an Australian indie/rock group he continues to perform with currently.
His first two albums Boardface (2001-2004) and Like Drawing Blood (2006-2009) both incorporated sampling and experimental sound. His voice has been likened to Sting and Seal and his sound has been compared to Bon Iver but there’s no point in trying to compare him to anyone else, because there really is no one quite like Gotye. He manages to combine heartfelt songwriting and earnest angst and balladeering with soft rock, alt-pop and frenzied experimentation.
His latest album Making Mirrors came in at number one on the ARIA Australian album chart, making Gotye the first Australian act to simultaneously hold both the number one single and album since Silverchair who achieved the same feat in 2007. His albums never seem to fit within the current mold of the pop world, they seem a little more theatrical, majestic, eclectic, cathartic as well as haunting all at once. Maintaining some sort of balance seems next to impossible but Gotye manages to pull it off, which is something to be thankful for since we all crave something truly different once in awhile.
Tracks to check out – Heart’s a Mess, Save Me, Eyes Wide Open, Somebody that I used to Know, Dig your own hole