Gotye’s runaway hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” has propelled the singer-songwriter to the number-one spot in the US charts this week. Contact Music notes that a Coachella performance, an SNL appearance and a plug on “Glee” all in the last week probably helped him overtake Fun for the number-one spot. He sold 542,000 downloads of the single in the last week alone. That’s a lot of downloads—the third highest ever since records for digital sales started being measured.
Topping the US charts is something not many Australians have done: It’s been twelve years since Savage Garden had that massive hit—you know the one. Before that it was just INXS with “Need You Tonight” and then we’re all the way back to “Men at Work” with the expository title “Down Under.”
Gotye’s video for the single has twice as many views as “Kony 2012.” And the hook, in all its Peter Gabriel pathos, doesn’t even kick in until more than a minute and a half into the song. Come to think of it, one thing it shares with “Kony 2012″ is a requisite patience—neither of them are exactly instant payoffs as far as viral videos and number-one singles go.
What’s happening to us, America? Are our attention spans getting longer? Freaky.