I have heard Somebody That I Used to Know by Australian artist Gotye a heck of a lot in the last few weeks. First it was this cover version that helped get Walk off the Earth signed, then I saw the song covered at a local open stage, and now a friend sends me this interesting article from the Edmonton Journal:
From talking and emailing with listeners, Thompson says he knows they like the song because it’s different from anything else playing on the radio these days. Some like it because it reminds them of British singer Sting, others are fascinated by the video.
….researchers at McGill University in Montreal have found that emotionally intense music also releases dopamine in the pleasure and reward centres of the brain, similar to the effects of food, sex and drugs. Dopamine makes us feel good and motivates us to repeat the behaviour, listening to a song over and over again, whether the emotions it provokes are depressing or upbeat. (via EJ)
The melody and simplicity are big strengths and obviously the lyrics win over many people. But when was the last time you heard a back and forth battle? It’s pretty novel.
In any case it feels like we’ve got another Hey Ya on our hands, or as Nettwork’s boss Terry McBride calls them, bookmarks. They bookmark time. The pressure will be huge for a follow up but it’s interesting to see how far one artist can go with one huge song.