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Intersection of Life and Faith

Making Mirrors Savvy Indie Sounds

  • Ed Cardinal TheFish.com Contributing Writer
  • 2012 6 Feb
<i>Making Mirrors</i> Savvy Indie Sounds

Artist: Gotye

Title: Making Mirrors

Label: Samples ‘N' Seconds/Universal Republic

Goyte ("go-tee-yay") is the stage name of Belgian born, Australian raised Wally De Backer, an especially creative indie musician whose blending of organic and electronic sensibilities just hit pay dirt with the haunting folk-pop single and video "Somebody That I Used to Know."

The sample-savvy 31-year-old with broad influences is starting to win major awards Down Under, and his third album, Making Mirrors, really has what it takes to achieve worldwide recognition.

First off, don't assume Goyte is as angst ridden as "Somebody" suggests when he sings, "You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness." That Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind vibe comes and goes. He takes those post breakup feelings and processes them on "Eyes Wide Open" and the hopeful "Save Me," both clearly influenced by the melodic beauty and galloping percussion of the 1985 Kate Bush album Hounds of Love. Things get even brighter from there.

"I Feel Better" is straight-up joy pop built to sound like a Motown classic, which it does. This is a testament to what multi-instrumentalist Goyte can do with a plain good voice, some choice samples and a friend on bass guitar. "In Your Light" reaches similar heights with excited handclaps and acoustic guitar, a firecracker of a tune blending what feels like elements of Doobie Brothers ("Listen to the Music"), George Michael ("Faith"), and Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto.

To be sure, Goyte, who looks lo-fi, is having a technological ball throughout Making Mirrors patching together various sounds, even when the subject matter gets heavy. "Smoke & Mirrors" adopts a dreamlike jazz vibe with sampled spy theme horns to tell of someone who's living a lie.

"State of the Art" is weird and wonderful, a literal tribute to the artist's favorite studio gear as performed by the various robotic devices themselves. "The marriage of music to computers is quite natural," says a voice in the background as the song goes on to capture the charms of everyone from Thomas Dolby ("She Blinded Me with Science") to Flight of the Conchords.

Around these standout cuts, Gotye adds several mellow pieces that make Making Mirrors an altogether easy listen that is duly reflective, never offensive, and always intriguing. Proactive listeners who enjoy keeping up with the buzz would do well to look into this album today; they are bound to see it staring back at them down the road on year-end favorite lists.

* This article first published 2/6/2012

**Listen to this album on Spotify