Gotye – Like Drawing Blood

GotyeYou may have noticed I’ve put in a new tag on this post, from now on anything I post that’s related to my new home down under, will have the “Australia” tag on it. Now all I need to do is go back and work out what albums I talked about were by Australian artists. Apparantly Gotye (aka Wally DeBacker) isn’t actually Australian but from Belguim but he’s settled down here like me, so that’s good enough to get the tag. His current album “Like Drawing Blood” was up for Triple J’s “J Award” for best Australian album of the year, (last year’s winner was Wolfmother), losing out to hip-hop trio Hilltop Hoods. What makes it interesting is that “Like Drawing Blood” is far removed from the big rock sound of Wolfmother or the mainstream rap of the Hoods. This is an album created by one guy from a truckload of samples, a la the Avalanches debut 6 years ago. But instead of the mix ‘n match soundscapes that result from a deluge of samples, “Like Drwaing Blood” seems to remain a singular work, despite spanning lots of genres.

It sounds unlikely but there’s something that draws all the songs together; for instance “Coming Back” has a vaudeville-esque style, whilst “The Only Way” has a big bass sound but both songs have a shared sound. The samples, although numerous, don’t muddle the song and are used sparringly. From there on, the songs traverse all genres: “Puzzle With A Piece Missing” is a minimal dub reggae track that captures the King Tubby sound really well. “Thanks For Your Time” is a electro track bemoaning the lack of customer service. “Heart’s A Mess” is a string-laden, downbeat track that bears a passing resembelance to Portishead, but only slightly.

The better tracks on the album are things like “Learnalilgivinanlovin”, a mowtown, 60’s wall of sound track that sounds brilliant. “A Pristine Sound” is a sample fest that sounds like the illegitimate offspring of Stenski’s Ultimate Lesson recordings. It’s not a perfect record though, some of the tracks stop for a period of time and then start up again which I found annoying. Plus there’s a plastic-ey 80’s soul-pop track at the end “Night Drive” which is either trying to be really ironic or show’s a love for Phil Collins. Either way, the album might have been better off without it. As it stands, “Like Drawing Blood” is a unique album, being composed of samples but yet sounding consistent.

Gotye – Heart’s A Mess:


  1. As usual, I’m about 8 years behind the times. Just got the latest Fratellis album and I was wondering what you thought of it. I also love the Zidane album – by far the best thing about the flick, which is basically like having Sky Sports player cam in a game where the player doesn’t do much but look super-intense.

  2. Yeah, I’m really looking forward to seeing it. I found out the DVD isn’t out yet in Britain, so I shouldn’t be too surprised that it’s not out in Australia.

  1. 1 Back again « A Heart Full of Hornets

    […] onto Facebook and I’ve also tinkered with the videos I put in the reviews of the current Gotye and …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of The Dead album; both of them now have videos of […]

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