Gotye is a Belgian-born Australian with a Portuguese-looking stage name that he pronounces like a Frenchman ("Gauthier"). That's just the beginning of the cosmopolitanism on his bracing U.S. debut. Gotye crams in a little bit of everything: Turkish drums, West African thumb pianos, a bass line constructed from samples of an instrument called the Winton Musical Fence. (It's an actual fence in the Australian outback.) He pours these sounds into songs that run from buzzy garage funk to psychedelic neo-exotica to electro Motown. The result: ingenious, oddly touching, refreshingly emphatic bedroom pop. Think Beck with less irony, and more, um, fence.
Listen to "Somebody That I Used to Know":
• Photos: Random Notes