Elliott Smith’s fans, may be I am late on this, but I realized a few days ago that the new Belgian-Australian indie-pop sensation Gotye has not one but two songs, which have the same title than two Elliott Smith’s songs: ‘Easy Way Out’ and ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’.
Sure, it may be just a pure coincidence, stranger things happen, the expression ‘easy way out’ also figures in The Beatles’ song, ‘Day Tripper’, and it may be where Elliott got it from, who knows?
But what are the odds that two songs have exactly the same titles? If Gotye did it intentionally, it is one thing, but he should say so in an interview some day. If he did not do it on purpose, and doesn’t even know Elliott Smith’s songs, it is weird.
It is a little bit like when I discovered that James Mercer of the Shins had bought this old house in Portland, without being aware of the fact it had belong to Elliott! What are the odds that two songwriters I really like have lived in the same house? This case is pure serendipity, but it’s different for Gotye since I don’t particularly like him.
Beside the titles, I have to say that the songs do not share anything else, the style, music and lyrics are different, but the annoying thing is that now, a research on google for ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ returns many Gotye-related links way before anything about Elliott comes up, times have changed!
Elliott Smith is known but not well-known, so I just wonder whether Gotye has heard of him, and has listened to ‘Figure 8’… Gotye, have you?