This Week We’re Obsessed With…Gotye

Celia Skaggs

I’m not going to lie. This Christmas break, I spent the vast majority of my time on various social media websites, ranging from Facebook to Tumblr and everything in between. Luckily, all of my Internet trolling was completely worth it because one wintry afternoon, I stumbled upon a link to the music video for “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra. A day later, no less than five Gotye songs had catapulted themselves to the top of my iTunes “Top 25 Most Played” list.

The magic of Gotye was something that took me entirely by surprise. As I clicked through his list of songs on YouTube, I found myself hearing something new with every tune. The unique melodies and lyrics of each song were something I had never really experienced, and I was excited to go through the entirety of his musical catalogue.

Fast forward to this month, and it seems Gotye is starting to take the United States by storm. Born Wouter De Backer in Belgium, Gotye (pronounced like “Go-tea-yay”) grew up in Australia and released his first album Like Drawing Blood in 2006. But it wasn’t until the 2011 release of the Making Mirrors album that Gotye started to draw attention from the international music scene. On Feb. 3, he graced the stage of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in his first United States television debut, and the American leg of his international tour begins in March.

Fortunately for me, Gotye shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. I’m glad that as he emerges as a star on the American music scene, I’m increasingly likely to find someone who knows his songs when I shamelessly belt them out walking down Sheridan Road.

What really excites me about Gotye as an artist is that you can never really tell what he’s going to do next. Over the course of Making Mirrors, he presents a wide variety of songs that range from quiet, electric-infused ballads to infectious retro-pop tunes that could have come straight out of the ‘80s. The album in its entirety has something to offer for every listener.

But by far the coolest part of Gotye’s music is the videos he releases with each of his tracks. From the gloriously geometric “Somebody That I Used to Know” video to the claymation-inspired release for “Eyes Wide Open,” each of his visual presentations is more innovative than the last.

And as Gotye’s songs continue to climb to the top of my “Top 25 Most Played” list on iTunes, I can’t help but hope that new song and video releases are around the corner. But for now, I can take comfort in the fact that come April 3, I plan to be downtown at the Congress Theater, bobbing around in a sea of Gotye fans who all know his name.

Celia Skaggs