Dichotomy.

I came across a wonderful song recently – 5 people playing a song on a single guitar…

Once the novelty wore off (no, no it still hasn’t, to be honest…), I tracked down the original song to an artist called Gotye (pronounced “Gore-ti-yeah”). And found, to quote from a comment on YouTube on one of his videos, a modern day Peter Gabriel.

gotye

Gotye, or to give him his full name, Wouter “Wally” De Backer, is a Belgian-Australian multi-instrumental musician and singer-songwriter. And WHAT a Belgian-Australian multi-instrumental musician and singer-songwriter!

His 2011 album “Making Mirrors” is an utterly stunning piece of work, which is (stealing from his Facebook Page)…

pop at its most precise, but also electronic music at its most emotional. The record delves into dub, Detroit-era Motown soul, stadium-size politipop, synth-folk and world music on glorious, sprawling, huge-hearted songs.

And from that album, I give you two opposites. For the first time, I’ve also included the videos for both, as they are truly stunning pieces of work.

Firstly, “Somebody That I Used To Know”, a song of utter anger and frustration, about the breakup of a relationship which then deteriorates even further:

So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I’ll admit that I was glad that it was over

But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened
And that we were nothing
And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger
And that feels so rough
You didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records
And then change your number
I guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

With Gotye’s passionate voice, truly reminiscent of Peter Gabriel, a plucked guitar line, many instruments I can’t even name, and not one but two wonderful vocal changes – Gotye’s himself at 1:34, and the entrance of a female vocalist, Kimbra, at 2:33, with another change at 2:48, to counter Gotye for the remainder of the song, this song will crawl deeply under your skin and stay there for months if not years. A song of anger, of pain, of hatred, of passion gone so wrong.

Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me
But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it’s an ache I still remember

You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end
Always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I’ll admit that I was glad that it was over

But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened
And that we were nothing
And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger
And that feels so rough
You didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records
And then change your number
I guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I’d done
And I don’t wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say
You said that you could let it go
And I wouldn’t catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know…

But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened
And that we were nothing
And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger
And that feels so rough
You didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records
And then change your number
I guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

Somebody
(I used to know)
Somebody
(Now you’re just somebody that I used to know)
Somebody
(I used to know)
Somebody
(Now you’re just somebody that I used to know)

I used to know
That I used to know
I used to know
Somebody

And it’s exact opposite is “Bronte”, a song of complete loss, but of staying with another even though you know you’re losing them. A song of pain as you lose someone (to death, as apparently the song was written by Gotye for the death of a family friend’s dog), and of being there with the other to the very end.

A heavy drum backing, an almost choral-like feel, a slowly building anthem, and THAT voice again – a wonderful falsetto balancing the pressure of the music itself. Turn this one loud and let those small hairs raise all over.

Now your bowl is empty
And your feet are cold
And your body cannot stop rocking
I know
It hurts to let go

Since the day we found you
You have been our friend
And your voice still
Echoes in the hallway of this house
But now
It’s the end

We will be with you
When you’re leaving
We will be with you
When you go
We will be with you
And hold you till you’re quiet
It hurts to let you go

We will be with you
We will be with you
We will be with you
You will stay with us

Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra)

Gotye – Bronte

www: Gotye’s official website, Facebook Page, MySpace, and Youtube channel.

And if you want more about the band playing the cover, check out Walk Off The Earth’s official website, Facebook Page and MySpace.

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