Wally De Backer goes under the name of Gotye, which is pronounced as “gore-ti-yeah”. Gotye hails from Melbourne, Australia and he has a clear talent of creating masterful songs out of samples. We have seen artists such as DJ Shadow and The Avalanches use a similar technique, but Gotye’s final result is much more engaging and diverse, creating songs that range from New Orleans jazz to Enrico Morricone inspired orchestral ballads. Like Drawing Blood has been in the creative stages for two years, and the result is extraordinary. I have not heard an artist in quite some time that has such a masterful grasp of genres that Gotye does. Every genre he tries to pull off, he excutes it flawlessly.
The stunning ‘Heart’s A Mess’ shows its beauty right from the beginning, with a nice sampled percussion layered by a beautifully and slowly drawn acoustic arpeggio. Gotye’s tragic lyrics portray a tale of unrequited love: “Let me occupy your mind, as you do mine”. The Morricone-like orchestral buildup starts to occur in the middle of the song, prior to each verse and to the emotionally charged chorus, where Gotye proclaims, “Your heart’s a mess, you won’t admit to it. It makes no sense, but I’m desperate to connect”. He can sing well too? Yes, well, this is what these gifted musicians are capable of. ‘The Only Way’ is much more aggressively charged, and has a bit of a Middle-Eastern feel circulating around it, over a leading bass beat. ‘Learnalilgivinanlovin’ is an example of direct soul and jazz influences. The use of samples here is very fulfilling and at this point in the album, the diversifying factor of genres is quite mindblowing. The song just makes you want to clap (or dance) along. Much like Herbert’s Scale, released earlier this year, Gotye’s new album is full of influences and emotion. I highly recommend it.