Striking Official Video:
I’ve not had the chance to write about a whole lot of songs that have been recent hits. The odds of the alphabet lining up exactly right with current songs is kind of slim, especially since I now have over 10,000 songs in the library. As it happens, “Somebody That I Used To Know” has only been climbing the U.S. Pop charts since January and is currently at Number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 (that content of that link to Billboard will change, of course).
I first heard this song in December because it was part of compilation playlist shared with members of fans of The Loud Family/Game Theory/Scott Miller. For once, I was a little ahead of the curve.
Gotye is a New Zealand artist whose had quite a bit of success there, though “Somebody That I Used To Know” is his first hit in the U.S. His fellow New Zealand singer Kimbra has also had her first U.S. success thanks to this song.
I really enjoy several things about this track. There’s this xylophone section that sounds a little like “Baa Baa Blacksheep.” I love how his voice jumps an octave or so on the chorus. I’m also really dig Kimbra’s verse, especially when she comes back to “somebody that I used to know.” Oh, and the backing vocals kick ass.
The thing that strikes me most about this particular track, though, is that in the three verses and chorus, Goyte sums up every lousy break up one might have ever had.
Now, as for why this song has been so successful this year in the U.S. when it was a hit everywhere else in the world last summer, I think it has something to do with this viral video cover by Walk Off The Earth, which broke several weeks ago: