The music video to Gotye’s worldwide number one hit, “Somebody I used to Know” has, as of writing this blog, been viewed more than 213 Million times. It now exists as the most viewed music video ever to be uploaded to YouTube. It has been parodied, analysed, criticised, adored, and played and played and played. But it is not sexy, nor controversial, nor glamorous. Well not in the Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears or Julio Iglesias way. So why is it so captivating? What makes this low budget (I can say that because I know how much it cost) video, filmed in a small studio in the heart of Melbourne so hard to ignore. Why did one very busy, and very sought after, Ashton Kutcher tell 7 million people about it?
Because it is art. It is that simple.
Natasha Pincus, Warwick Field, Emma Hack, Wally De Backer, Kimbra and Howard Clark collaborated and made something truly unique. Something that is not flashy. That is bare and naked (literally). That is human and, most importantly, flawed. And that is why we love it.
They aren’t the only team to put together beautifully flawed music videos. The Firekite’s did it with their haunting, chalk animation, “Autumn Story” video and D’Opus & Roshambo did it with their quirky, dancing cut-outs in “The Switch“. But unfortunately, they are in the minority. The majority on the other hand continue to grasp for perfection. More lights, more hair, more skin, more auto-tune, more filters, more make-up, more stylists, more dancers, more money and more bling. But it seems that as they put more and more in, we get less and less out. Sadly ironic really.
So, let’s hope more and more music video creators continue to aim for less. That way, we will continue to get more and more out of their work. It’s just so refreshing.