It’s been a long, long time since “alternative” songs have dominated the Billboard charts like they have this year. After Katy Perry, Adele and LMFAO locked down the uppermost reaches of the Hot 100 last year, this year has belonged to artists like fun. and Gotye, who have managed to fend off pop powerhouses like Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna from hitting that #1 spot.
Perhaps as a sign of solidarity with their alternative brethren, perhaps as a show of mutual admiration, fun. decided to cover “Somebody That I Used To Know” for BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge series. This British program is best known for their ability to get huge pop stars to do semi-unlikely covers —you might recall that Florence Welch covered Drake’s “Take Care” for the program late last year— and this proves no exception. fun. even recruited Paramore‘s Hayley Williams, herself a former VH1 Diva, to sing the Kimbra portion of the song. Let us know whose version you prefer in the comments below!
Gotye got a boost from appearing on last week’s Saturday Night Live, which led to him selling an astounding 542,000 digital copies of the song last week alone, the fourth-best single week digital sales number in chart history; to date, he’s sold 4.5 million copies of it worldwide. However, he’s less-than-impressed with the way that the cast of Glee treated his song in a recent episode. In an interview with the Australian Sunday Mail, he described the hit show’s cover thusly: Read more…
The 2012 SXSW Music Festival is in the books, y’all. Your friendly neighborhood VH1 Tuner team was down in Austin for five days, but it felt more like a month (in a good way!). By that, we mean that Austin is a very inviting place, the kind of city that is big enough that you don’t get bored by it, but small enough that you get familiar with the layout quickly. In short, by the time we left the city on Sunday afternoon, it sort of felt like home.
If you’ve never been down to Austin —this was actually the first time down there for both myself and our ace photographer, Jen Marigliano— we wanted to give you a vibe of what the city is like during the festival. So, in this special SXSW edition of our long-running Music Seen feature, you’ll get a sense of what we experienced during our short trip to the Lone Star state. You’ll see some of the artists that we spent time with (like B.o.B, T.I., Neon Hitch, Train, Kimbra and more!), the crowds of people who fly in from all over the world to see live music at intimate venues, and how music truly takes over this awesome college town for six days each and every March. Enjoy!
Kimbra Launches A Spotify Mixtape Kimbra, made famous by her turn on Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” and soon to be a US superstar in her own right, has launched a Spotify Mixtape of her favorite songs, updated weekly. Subscribe away, and thank us later! [Spotify]
This Britney Spears Face Morph Is Pretty Creepy
This face morph of Britney — from baby to Mouseketeer to “Baby One More Time” to meltdown to now — is incredibly creepy. You’ll get your fair dose of Britney nostalgia, but also a pang of something like guilt as you watch the smile fade and her blonde locks replaced by a manic head shave and pink wig. [Idolator]
Our featured You Oughta Know artist, Gotye, is really turning heads with his hit single “Somebody That I Used To Know.” The Australian artist, whose collaboration with Kimbra has only just become ubiquitous the world over, isn’t just looking at critical success anymore as “Somebody That I Used To Know” climbs the charts. We love to say we told you so!
This week the track takes number one spot on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart, and Gotye told Billboard he struggled when writing the song; “When I got to the end of (writing) the first chorus, I hit a real brick wall. I didn’t seem to have any way to take the song further… After struggling with what to do with it, it kind of struck me that I needed a different perspective. It should be the other side of the relationship. I wrote that part and then went about looking for the female vocalist I thought could really give it something edgy.” Gotye’s chart success is just another reason You Oughta Know the budding artist who kicks off his US tour in March, including a date with Coachella’s iconic festival.
We’re going to sound like a broken record saying this, but the truth is the truth and there’s no way around it — Gotye and Kimbra sound just as impeccable live as they do on record. And we should know — we got to witness the pair playing live for us in an intimate setting at our Times Square offices when they came to visit last week. While You Oughta Know artist Gotye played solo songs from his new album, Making Mirrors, and even an old favorite, “Heart’s A Mess,” we were blown away by “Somebody That I Used To Know,” featuring the dexterous vocals of Kimbra.
The pair gave us a compelling, moving experience in the intimate setting. While playing live with his band, tinkering with the menagerie of instruments surrounding him, the impresario Gotye crooned the lyrics, vocally gymnastic in the ease with which he switched from a whisper to a shout. When Kimbra joined him for her verse, emotions were high, as the two breathed life into the heartbreaking lyrics, giving real import to the occasion.
Last week, Antipodean superstars Gotye (an Australian artist) and Kimbra (who hails from New Zealand) stopped by our offices in the heart of Times Square. Taking some time out from their US tour to chat with us, the pair were endearing and sweet, and this month’s You Oughta Know artist Gotye gave us a glimpse into the genius mind behind their hit track, “Somebody That I Used To Know.” Our photographer, Michele Crowe, followed the pair around the building to capture some intimate, candid moments for us, including the amazing performance they put on in our lobby! You can see all the fun we had when Gotye and Kimbra came to visit below (and after the jump!).
This week, we’re not only welcoming February (and maybe an early spring if you live in New York), but also our newest You Oughta Know recruit, the Australian sensation Gotye. Gotye is the stage name of the Belgian born, Australian raised Wally De Backer, who has been a household name in Australia since his 2006 album Like Drawing Blood made a hit singles out of “Heart’s A Mess” and “Learnalilgivinanlovin.” His 2011 release, Making Mirrors, however, sent Gotye into the stratosphere of superstar status in the home land, with the lead single, “Somebody That I Used To Know” making the most sales of any track Australia wide for 2011 and earning him various accolades and awards.
And now the rest of the world is standing to attention, too. Making Mirrors is taking the US by storm, currently sitting pretty at #12 on the iTunes charts, with “Somebody That I Used To Know” in the iTunes Top 10 singles chart. Gotye’s unique brand of emotional pastiche electo-pop paired with his power vocal have the world talking, and that’s why we’re telling you this is one artist you definitely oughta know! With many high profile covers and celebrities Tweeting their praise for Gotye, we’re thinking that the hype train has only just departed the station, and will pick up speed as Gotye launches his 2012 US tour (including a performance at Coachella and a stop at our NYC headquarters next week) with his “Somebody That I Used To Know” collaborator, Kimbra.
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