There comes a time where you just have to be “that guy.” You strain against the pull, knowing that you literally just ragged on your homie for doing it. It’s the song of the summer, blowing up on the radio, on TV, on the blogosphere. But it’s the worst song on the album, and you know it.
You know it because you’ve been listening to the artist for years, since he started out as a bedroom producer with a tiny group of devoted fans. You’ve scoured the Internet for a hard copy of that rare first LP, for live recordings of foreign shows. You’ve played the songs for your parents, your boyfriend, your cousin, and the random dude who smoked you up a few weeks back. But they don’t catch on.
And then he’s all over the news and you’re like whaaaa?
I was “that guy” with Gotye. When “Somebody I Used to Know” blew up, I was shocked. I’d first heard his standout track “Heart’s a Mess” on a late-night radio broadcast years before, and became hooked immediately. His second album was a mainstay in my playlists. No one I knew knew Gotye.
And then they were all nutting for him and I was pissed because “Somebody I Used to Know” was one of the worst songs he’d ever put out. Seriously: minimal production, random guest vocalist (the only guest vocal to date on a Gotye track), and flat out boring. Listen to “Puzzle with a Piece Missing” or “Easy Way Out” or “State of the Art”; these songs are nuanced masterpieces of dystopia with a veneer of pop sensibility that makes them digestible over and over.
I went to two Gotye shows while he toured behind “Making Mirrors.” During both, half the crowd left after he played the song-that-shall-not-be-named. Fucking travesty.
ODESZA is a production duo from Seattle. They have established themselves as masters of the sample, turning recognizable anthems into trippy soundscapes that, in their own words, “work as headphone music as well as make people dance at a live venue.” The tracks are at once chill, trippy and bangin’.
“Without You”, from their brand new “Summer’s Gone” EP, samples “Somebody I Used to Know” to fantastic effect. You will hear Wally’s wails with fresh ears, and find yourself feeling like you just ate a spoonful of the “everything nice” that Professor Utonium used to make the Powerpuff Girls: sparkly and straight gangsta.