Gotye… also known as Wally De Backer is a Belgium musician who grew up in Melbourne, Australia. Though Gotye loved music from the get-go he began properly making music in 2001, his parents moved into a new house allowing him to stay at the old one, joined by two of his friends. This house became a place for friends of Wally to hang out, listen to and create music.
After creating his first body of music using mainly samples in 2001, he continued his solo career until 2011. After releasing his album ‘Making Mirrors’ which had the very successful single ‘Somebody that I used to know’ on it, he alongside the artist Kimbra who featured on ‘somebody that I used to know’ won three Grammys. Not long after that Wally announced that there would be no more Gotye music.
Not to worry though as he continues to make music! just not as a solo artist. He mainly releases music with the band ‘The Basics’, a band that he and his friend Kris Schroder created in 2002.
Like all of the songs on Gotye’s album ‘Like drawing blood’ these have a lot of musical depth. The whole album has such a personality, each song has its own character. I’ll begin by talking about ‘Heart’s a mess’. This song though released in 2006 was later used in the 2013 movie ‘The great Gatsby’, when you listen to it you can understand why. The layers of sound in this song, the complexity of them and the timing create an extremely atmospheric piece. It’s very dramatic. A tragically beautiful. Heartbreak is the best way to describe it.
The main part that stands out to me in this piece strangely enough considering all of the wonderful instruments is Gotye’s voice, paired with the emotion within the lyrics. He portrays heartbreak through his voice incredibly, starting off very gentle and almost compassionate (as do the lyrics). The song goes on and the sound intensifies, so do the words. We then approach the hook, in the line “but I’m desperate to connect” you can hear the pain in his voice, now I don’t know whether this is a song written from experience but if it’s not he is a wonderful actor. Because ouch.
Next onto one of the funniest most relatable songs I’ve ever listened to, a VERY different piece to ‘Heart’s a mess’. I love this song because most of the time songs are written about very serious issues or raw emotions, which is wonderful don’t get me wrong but sometimes a song like ‘Thanks for your time’ is just needed as a pick me up. This song is written about being on hold and being royally pissed off about it. Already love it? Thought so.
Not only is the subject matter and lyrics of this song incredibly well thought out, of course it wouldn’t be Gotye if the song wasn’t just an absolute delight to listen to as well. A lot of songs involving some sort of satire or comedy usually aren’t wonderful in the actual music department, that’s why I appreciate this song so much. It’s honestly just a funny piss-take and because it’s curated to such a high standard it almost makes it funnier, as well as impressive.