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“Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra

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    “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra (official video) is an independent pop song.

    Song Title: Somebody That I Used To Know (official video)
    Artist: Gotye featuring Kimbra
    Album: Making Mirrors
    Genre: adult pop, independent rock, indie pop, easy listening, pop, dance, alternative, worldbeat, adult contemporary
    Composer: Copyright © 2011 Wally de Backer, Luiz Bonfá
    Lead Vocals: Wally de Backer, Kimbra
    Backing Vocals: Wally de Backer, Kimbra
    Guitar: Wally de Backer
    Bass Guitar: Lucas Taranto
    Percussion: Wally de Backer
    Xylophone: Wally de Backer
    Flute: Wally de Backer
    Other: a sample of Brazilian jazz guitarist Luiz Bonfá’s 1967 instrumental song “Seville”
    Director: Natasha Pincus
    Producer: Wally de Backer
    Recording: Wally de Backer
    Recorded: January–May 2011 The Barn, Merricks, Australia and Lucas Taranto’s lounge room, Melbourne, Australia
    Engineer: Tétaz
    Mixer: Tétaz, Wally de Backer (assistant mixer)
    Mastering: William Bowden
    Released: 5 July 2011
    Label: Eleven
    Certification: Australia (ARIA): 10x Platinum
    Austria (IFPI Austria): 2x Platinum
    Belgium (BEA): 3x Platinum
    Denmark (IFPI Denmark): 2x Platinum
    Germany (BVMI): Platinum
    Italy (FIMI): 2x Platinum
    Mexico (AMPROFO): 5x Platinum
    New Zealand (RIANZ): 4x Platinum
    Spain (PROMUSICAE): Platinum
    Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland): 3x Platinum
    Sweden (GLF): Platinum
    United Kingdom (BPI): Platinum
    United States (RIAA): 6x Platinum

    On 15 July 2011, the song finished third in the 2011 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition, with the winning song, “Cameo Lover”, by Kimbra. Earlier that year, Gotye had first noticed Kimbra when both were short-listed as finalists for the competition. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2011, “Somebody That I Used to Know” won Single of the Year, Best Pop Release, Best Video (for Natasha Pincus), Engineer of the Year (for François Tétaz) and Producer of the Year (for Gotye). Gotye also won Best Male Artist for the song while Kimbra won Best Female Artist for her previous single, “Cameo Lover”. At the APRA Music Awards of 2012, “Somebody That I Used to Know” won Most Played Australian Work and Song of the Year and Gotye won Songwriter of the Year. It is also nominated at the 2012 Teen Choice Awards for “Choice Rock Song” and “Choice Break-Up Song”. The song is nominated for Video of the Year at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.

    United States chart position: #1 (one)
    United Kingdon chart position: #1 (one)
    Official Website:
    Number of listens: 43994
    Current rank: 5 (updated weekly)
    Highest rank: 1 (play the video all the way through to register a vote for this song)

    U.S. Billboard Hot 100: #46, up from last week #47, missing week, #36, 49 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
    Rock: peak #1 (one), 2012
    Alternative: peak #1 (one), 2012
    Dance/Club Play: peak #1 (one), 2012
    Pop: peak #1 (one), 2012
    Adult Contemporary: peak #1 (one)
    Adult Pop: peak #1 (one), 2012
    Radio Songs: #51, missing week, missing week, #34, peak #17
    On-Demand Songs: #27, down from last week #24, missing week, #22, 40 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
    Ringtones: #37, down from last week #34, missing week, #22, 43 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
    Rock Digital: #16, up for last week #21, missing week, #14, 53 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
    Mexican Regional: peak #8 (eight), 2012
    Canadian Hot 100: peak #1 (one)
     Billboard information for the week of Dec 22, 2012
     Billboard chart listings courtesy of Billboard Magazine

        Gotye’s ‘Somebody that I used to Know,’ featuring Kimbra, is the first song in the history of Billboard to hold the top position on four of its biggest charts in the same week. The song hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs and Dance/Mix Show Airplay charts this week (May 19) and held its Hot 100 position for a fourth week and Alternative slot for a tenth. It is the first to top all four of these simultaneously.
—Anthony Wing Kosner of Forbes

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    Summary quotation from Wikipedia:

    “Somebody That I Used to Know” is a song written and first recorded by Australian/Belgian singer and songwriter Gotye, featuring New Zealand singer/guitarist Kimbra. The song was released in Australia and New Zealand by Eleven Music on 5 July 2011 as the second single from his third studio album, Making Mirrors (2011). It was later released by Universal Music in December 2011 in the United Kingdom, and in January 2012 in the United States and Ireland. “Somebody That I Used to Know” was written and recorded by Gotye at his parent’s house on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, and is lyrically related to the experiences he has had with relationships.

    “Somebody That I Used to Know” is a mid-tempo indie pop ballad song. It samples Luiz Bonfá’s song “Seville” from his 1967 album Luis Bonfa Plays Great Songs. The song received positive reception from most music critics, who noted the similarities between the song and works by Sting and American folk band Bon Iver, but said that it was crafted “for the music-buying masses.” It was also compared with Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me”. The song won the Triple J Hottest 100 poll at the end of 2011, as well as ARIA Awards for song of the year and best video, while Kimbra was voted best female artist and Gotye was named best male artist and producer of the year.


    “Somebody That I Used to Know” is an indie pop song that is four minutes and five seconds long. It is composed mainly by arrangements of piano and electric guitar. Gotye uses a sample of Brazilian jazz guitarist Luiz Bonfá’s 1967 instrumental song “Seville”, with additional instrumentations of beats and a xylophone. It was written and produced by Gotye himself, while in his parent’s barn on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. Gotye commented that he wrote the song “in quite a linear way”, explaining that “I wrote the first verse, the second verse and I’d got to the end of the first chorus and for the first time ever I thought, ‘There’s no interesting way to add to this guy’s story’. It felt weak”.


    The track was recorded between January and May 2011 with Gotye struggling to find a suitable female vocalist, as a “‘high profile’ female vocalist” cancelled the collaboration at the last minute, and Kimbra “lucked out as the replacement”. He tested his girlfriend, Tash Parker, but “somehow their happiness meant that it didn’t work out” so he followed the recommendation of the song’s mixer and used Kimbra’s vocals. Bill Lamb of compared the song’s opening with “the intimate percussive feel of classic pop songs by the Thompson Twins.” Martin Davies from Click Music considered the song “instantly captivating”, and named Kimbra’s voice “clean and sugar-soaked”, further commenting that it bears an “uncanny resemblance to the American popstar” Katy Perry.

    Gotye stated that the song was “definitely drawn from various experiences I’ve had in relationships breaking up, and in the parts of the more reflective parts of the song, in the aftermath and the memory of those different relationships and what they were and how they broke up and what’s going on in everyone’s minds. Yeah, so it’s an amalgam of different feelings but not completely made up as such”. In an interview with Rolling Stone (Australia), he described the song as “a curated reflection of multiple past relationships”, but revealed the chorus was directly related to a song written by Elliott Smith with the same title. Gotye said of his ex-girlfriend, “[i]t wasn’t a nasty break-up, but it was messy in the sense that we hurt each other more than we needed to because it wasn’t a clean break… We both realised we had to move on and we haven’t seen each other since”. On 31 May 2012, Gotye announced that on 8 June 2012 he would release an album of ten remixes as Somebody That I Used to Know: The Remixes.

Music Video

    The music video for “Somebody That I Used to Know”, which was directed and produced by Natasha Pincus, shows both Gotye and Kimbra naked throughout the clip, and as they sing, his skin is gradually painted into the backdrop via stop motion animation. The painting used in the video’s background is based on a 1980s artwork created by Gotye’s father, Frank de Backer, who also designed the cover art for the related album, Making Mirrors. Emma Hack, an Australian artist and skin illustrator based in Adelaide, was hired by Pincus to work on the body paintings for Gotye and Kimbra, and also worked with Gotye to design the backdrop. According to Hack, it took more than 23 hours to paint both Gotye and Kimbra to fit with the background. Their painting symbolises their combined relationship.

    Before its official premiere, the music video was leaked on Take 40 Australia’s website. According to Pincus, “It was stolen out of our system. I guess it’s always wanted to get out there. Within five minutes it was everywhere”. On 30 July 2011 it was officially premiered on YouTube and on the Australian music show Rage. The music video was well received for its artistic style, picking up 200,000 views in its first two weeks, as well as receiving promotion on Twitter by actor Ashton Kutcher and Katy Perry. As of October 2012, the video has over 336 million views on YouTube. On Christmas Day 2011, it was revealed that the video for “Somebody That I Used to Know” was voted No. 1 in the annual Rage Fifty countdown. Andy Samberg and Taran Killam parodied the video in a Saturday Night Live “digital short” that coincided with Gotye’s 14 April 2012 performance on the show. The video was nominated for Video of the Year and Best Editing in a Video at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.

—from Wikipedia (the Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License applies to Wikipedia’s block of text and possible accompanying picture, along with any alterations, transformations, and/or building upon Wikipedia’s original text that applied to this block of text)


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