Artists Of 2012: Gotye Becomes Somebody We Need To Know

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(Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

(Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

In 2011, few had any idea who Gotye was, but thanks to one unbelievably catchy song (and its equally impressive video) he became someone we couldn’t get enough of in 2012.

Though “Somebody I Used To Know” was actually featured on Gotye’s 2011 release, Making Mirrors, it needed a little time to resonate with the world. Once it did though, it couldn’t be stopped.

Along with being this year’s most streamed song on Spotify, beating out Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and fun.’s “We Are Young,” Gotye earned himself three GRAMMY nominations including Record Of The Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance with Kimbra, who appears on the song.


Kimbra told CBS Local
earlier this year that though she was shocked by the song’s mega success, she wasn’t surprised it resonated with so many people.

“There’s a sense of tension in the song or intrigue the first time you hear it,” she explained. “Perhaps you have that sense of wanting to hear it again and understand a bit more of the story. And the fact that it tells two sides, it’s not coming from one perspective. Everyone knows how it feels to want to have their side of the story told.”

It also seemed everyone wanted a chance to tell that story themselves. The song garnered its fair share of tributes, covers and re-imaginings throughout the year.

The best might have been Walk Off The Earth’s one-guitar tribute that had the five band members strumming, plucking and banging away to make a cover worthy of the original song.

The nerdiest cover had to be the one performed by a bunch of outdated computer parts. Not to be outdone by humans, the old printer managed to create a unique version of the soon-to-be classic.

Of course, the singer did stir up a little controversy when he expressed some concern over Glee’s cover of the song to a Sydney newspaper saying they “made it sound dinky and wrong.” 

In the April episode, Blaine (Darren Criss) and his estranged older brother played by Matt Bomer (White Collar) turn the song into a duet that helps repair their broken relationship. He later explained the whole thing was a misunderstanding by telling fans that he actually thought it was “clever to transpose the songs to two guys.”

Gotye later decided to get into the mix taking the many, many covers and combining them for a little tribute he called “Somebodies, A YouTube Orchestra.”

Gotye, just another one-hit wonder? We don’t think so.

Check out Making Mirrors, if you haven’t already, to see for yourself what all the hype is about.

-Shannon Carlin, CBS Local

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