Tag Archives: dido

Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye

20 Sep

Gotye Catch 'Em All: Gotye's in the eye of the hurricane. Or something metaphorical.

By now, you should know I like to tell you the real names of artists I write about. I feel it adds to the appreciation of the music because it gives you a sense of the artist as a human… Yeah, I can’t finish that off. The truth is, sometimes their names are funny (here’s looking at you Dido and Lykke Li). Today we have Gotye or Wouter “Wally” De Backer. I actually think De Backer is a pretty cool name but it’s harder to make Pokemon tagline-based jokes so we’ll stick with Gotye. A quick summary of Mr De Backer’s life: He’s a ‘Belgian-Australian multi-instrumental musician and singer-songwriter,’ who’s released three studio solo albums and another three in his ‘indie-pop’ band, The Basics. Listen up, Wikipedia. I love you and your sections about books I haven’t read but have pretended to but the description ‘indie-pop’ is so oxymoronic it could fit into a Shakespeare play. Or at the very least, a modern, hip version of Romeo and Juliet. Someone should get on tha- wait, what do you mean? One Baz Luhrmann has already conceived my idea? Oh well, there’s always that fall back plan of a 3-D version of The Great Gatsby I was concocting.

But back to Gotye. I’m surprised Jonah hasn’t blogged about him as he seems to fit a certain electronic musician type. There are echoes of Miike Snow, Bon Iver, The xx, and Arcade Fire but really he’s created a unique sound. At times it’s moody and atmospheric, at others it’s beautifully upbeat. Here’s Bronte, one of my favourite tracks from his latest album, Making Mirrors which hit number 1 in the Australian charts (and here I was thinking all they listened to was The Veronicas and Rolf Harris) :

The break-out single from Making Mirrors is Somebody That I Used To Know, a pretty beautiful break-up song. Here’s the thing, the subject matter of the song is quite cliche. In the hands of another artist we’d probably get a song about how he got over said-ex by hooking up in a club by the speakers after 4 mojitos. There’s nothing wrong with that (really, most of my Saturdays Thursdays are comprised of mojitos and clubbing) but Gotye’s version is a very different take. Exhibit A:

I know you don’t think you did me wrong
And I can’t stay this mad for long
Keeping a hold of what you just let go
You’re just somebody that I used to know

Mixing the sentimental with the ice cold. Pretty remarkable eh? Also remarkable: how fresh this song feels given its’ worked and reworked theme. In fact, most of Gotye’s music has a refreshing aspect much like recently blogged about Washed Out‘s. Maybe after the heady, sweaty days of summer, we need some heartbreak to bring us down to earth and clean us out. Listen, please and fall in love. Another thing to love, the inclusion of New Zealand singer/songwriter Kimbra Jones in the song. It’s always good to remind there are two people in a relationship, in this case that the woman was probably not quite as awful as the man paints her. One-sided misogyny: bad. Gender equality within pop music: good. Here’s the video:

Grafton Street – Dido

17 Jul

Dido: Not just a pretty voice

Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O’Malley Armstrong or just Dido, take your pick, is too often disregarded as background music. She comes from strong musical beginnings (her brother is Rollo from Faithless, and once my friend told me that her sister was Jem which seemed believable until a Wikipedia search proved otherwise.) It’s easy to forget about her with regards to the British pop music scene but her debut album, No Angel was the top-selling album of 2001 and Life For Rent (her 2003 effort) is the 4th biggest selling album of this century. Her third album, Safe Trip Home never lived up to Dido’s previous efforts which is a shame as it contains some great records. Here’s the video for the lead single from the album which is the definitely the most commercial sounding, recalling Thank You and has a similar but more downbeat sound to Feist’s My Moon, My Man:

My favourite single, and one of my favourites from 2008 is Grafton Street. The subject matter, about one of Dublin’s two main shopping streets (the other is Henry (!) Street) is particularly close to my heart and Dido adds in her typically evocative lyrics:

No more trips to Grafton Street,
No more goin’ there,
To see you lying still,
While we all come and go.

No more watching sunsets,
It seems like summer’s holding on.
And no more standing quietly at your window.

All the time, Dido maintains her dignified, vulnerable voice to the record and quietly creates a touching masterpiece. The song also features a great pipe solo from 4:00, which recalls all my childhood summers that I spent in Ireland. Rock can keep its guitar riffs, Gaga and Katy can keep their saxophone solos, I’m content with some beautiful Irish pipes. Take a listen:

In case you feel that Dido is still the musical equivalent of sodden cardboard, let’s rewind to 2000 to remind you of her contribution to Stan, probably Eminem’s best (least annoying/vulgar) single to date:

Don’t Worry, I’m Yours – Mashup-Germany

3 Jun

I know these last few weeks might have been tough. Exams, or whatever is on your plate (I just had an hourlong chat in the park in which a friend shared the bad side of his relationship), at Can You Hear This, we’re here for you. Feast your ears on this feel good mashup from the master, Mashup-Germany. We haven’t had one in a while, and this is just perfect to break the duck:

Feel better now? Thought so. The main two songs in here are I’m Yours by Jason Mraz, and Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin. You’ll also hear hints of Dido’s Thank You, and No Air with Chris Brown and Jordin Sparks. Maybe the best part is that this song is available to download completely for free, if you click here. Also check out our birthday competition, and remember, it’ll all be fine.