31 December 2007

the genius of Wally: Gotye and The Basics

There are a lot of great Australian musicians and a few rare geniuses. One of these rare geniuses is Wally De Backer. As Gotye (a moniker based on his real first name of Wouter, Flemish version of the French Gaultier - and pronounced gore-ti-yeah), he released two albums independently, Boardface (2004) and Like Drawing Blood (2006).

Boardface CD cover

Like Drawing Blood CD cover

Both albums are brilliant. From the independent label, Creative Vibes which distributes for Gotye
Gotye is Wally De Backer. He plays drums, percussion and piano, and he writes, sings and produces tracks at his home, in Mentone, Victoria, Australia. Gotye’s sound is a melting pot of samples from sources far and wide, mixed with Wally’s home recorded sounds to form original songs that are as much influenced by the ’80’s British electro of Depeche Mode and mock-lounge pop of Roxy Music, as the scratchy sounds of old noir soundtracks and majestic orchestras of John Barry and Henry Mancini.

The cut’n'paste approach of hip-hop djs also figures prominently in the arrangements, inspired especially by the musicality of San Francisco’s finest sample- composers, DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist. The results are songs that both reference and incorporate styles and sounds of the past, while showcasing Wally’s unique songwriting in a broad web of sonic environments. Wally songs display the diversity of his listening interests, incorporating sounds from a wide spectrum of sources. They encompass a variety of styles, tempos and textures in their mix of organic and electronic sources, experimenting with form and tone while nevertheless clearly exhibiting Wally’s love of pop music (in any of its manifestations and mutations over the last half a century).
Oh yeah!

One of Wally's worst nightmares is being seen in public in such lurid pyjamas.

clip for Hearts a Mess

clip for Learnalilgivinanlovin (live at 2007 ARIA awards) - Wally was also awarded best male artist for 2007

The thing about geniuses is that they are multi-talented. Wally is also one-third of Indie band, The Basics, together with Tim Heath and Kris Schroeder. They sound like they have stepped out of a time warp worm hole straight out of American Bandstand.

Stand Out / Fit In CD cover (The Basics)

clip for Just Hold On

clip for Lookin' Over My Shoulder

On the tube whilst on tour in the UK (management couldn't afford the limousine)
(photo by Gaelle Beri)

- Gotye
- Gotye MySpace
- The Basics
- The Basics MySpace

27 December 2007


I only recently discovered MUSE (MySpace) and still wonder why I had never really heard their music before.

I have been listening to their latest album Black Holes and Revelations a lot lately. Matthew Bellamy has an incredible vocal range, and the guitar work is superb.

In my opinion, they should be as big or even bigger than Coldplay.

clip of Starlight (from the Black Holes and Revelations album)

26 December 2007

The Feeling - Twelve Stops and Home

One of my favourite albums at the moment is Twelve Stops and Home, the debut album by UK band The Feeling (MySpace).

The Feeling was the No 1 most played band in the UK in 2006. Their four singles “Sewn” (March ‘06), “Fill My Little World” (June ‘06) “Never Be Lonely” (August ‘06) and “Love It When You Call” (November ‘06) were all huge hits in the UK. Unfortunately, music lovers in Australia are still yet to discover them. Place a song in Grey's Anatomy, I say.

The Feeling, with vocals by Dan Gillespie Sells, goes back to basics. Their sound is very much 80s pop and soothing. And the song writers are masters of the hook.

clip for Never Be Lonely

clip for Rosé

clip for Sewn

clip for Love It When You Call

Not a single bad song on the album.

I am looking forward to their next album Join With Us

25 December 2007

The Panics

The Panics (MySpace) is an Australian band formed in Perth around seven years ago. They are going to be huge.

Cruel Guards is their fourth album, and it is sensational.

clip for Don't Fight It (track 4 from the album Cruel Guards)

They are playing a gig at a festival in Melbourne in February 2008. I was looking forward to attending, but tickets are sold out.