Goyte brings ‘Somebody I Used to Know’ to Detroit, Columbus, ClevelandWritten by John Benson | | email@example.com
Ironically, when listening to “Somebody That I Used To Know,” the massive summer hit from Australian musician Goyte (pronounced go-te-yay), the overwhelming feeling is you are hearing somebody that you used to listen to.
It’s hard not to think the ubiquitous synth-based track just might be the greatest Sting song ever.
“I think it’s a compliment because he’s a fantastic artist and an incredible songwriter, but I’m not sure I necessarily hear it,” said Wouter “Wally” De Backer (aka Gotye). “Because I sing in a high tenor and in that range, that’s probably a reason why. It’s a passing comparison, but it’s definitely flattering.”
Goyte, with Chairlift and Zammuto, will play at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at Lakewood Civic Auditorium, 14100 Franklin Blvd., near Cleveland, and at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 at Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit.
During the past year, there has been plenty of praise thrown De Backer’s way. Born in Belgium and raised in Australia, the 32-year-old artist released his third studio effort “Making Mirrors” in 2011. While basically unknown in America, the multi-instrumentalist found fame in his homeland with his 2006 album “Like Drawing Blood.”
It was recently voted the 11th greatest Australian album of all time by Triple J. That sounds like it should mean something stateside until you realize the CD’s placement on the list is between Regurgitator’s “Unit” and Grinspoon’s “Guide to Better Living.” Who? Exactly.
Still, “Like Drawing Blood” earned a cult following with actress Drew Barrymore using its single “Learnalilgivinanlovin” in several of her films.
As for “Making Mirrors,” De Backer said he set the bar high to create unique soundscapes with a modern approach. He used everything from a vintage organ bought for $100 in a secondhand shop to horn breaks in a traditional Taiwanese folk song. Overall, the record delves into dub, Motown, stadium-size politipop, synth-folk and world music.
This leads us to his global No. 1 hit “Somebody That I Used To Know,” which features New Zealand singer Kimbra. Adding to the allure of the mesmeric track is its stopframe, body-painting video.
“I had a strong feeling about that song as it was coming together,” De Backer said. “I felt there was something unique about it. If you get a feeling when you’re writing like that, that’s usually a good indication that you’re obviously doing something that resonates with and seems true and other people will connect with it.”
Connect with people it did. The song helped “Making Mirrors” go gold in the states, while De Backer landed on “Saturday Night Live.” The song was covered on “Glee” and “American Idol” this past spring.
Now comes Goyte’s headlining tour, which rolls into the Buckeye State for a Sept. 16 date at the Lakewood Civic Auditorium and a Sept. 17 show at Columbus’ Lifestyle Community Pavilion before heading to Detroit. Joining him on stage will be a 10-piece band
Now armed with such a massive hit, everyone should finally know how to pronounce his name. Well, it turns out not quite everyone.
“I had a good one recently,” De Backer said. “I was in Milwaukee and some tourists asked me to take a photo of them. I had a great chuckle. And then as I walked away, they made a connection and called out down the street, ‘Hey, are you that guy from guy-ho-tee?’ I said ‘Yeah, that’s me.’”