The first time I heard Gotye’s hit song “Somebody That I Used To Know,” it was a cover version by the Canadian band Walk Off The Earth. I found myself entranced by the break-up song, and listened to it again and again. It conjured up the same emotions as Nickel Creek’s “Somebody More Like You,” which is one of the best end-of-relationship songs I know.
It was strange, though, discovering the Gotye song via Walk Off The Earth. At first, I thought it was one of that band’s original songs, and it wasn’t until I visited their robust YouTube channel and found “Somebody That I Used To Know” filed under the “Covers” section that I realized it wasn’t. Hmm.
The original version of “Somebody That I Used To Know,” it turned out, was great, too:
(Unfortunately, the band’s recent live performance on SNL was pretty horrible. But I’m moving on, because this is a list of good things.)
Below is a collection of my favorite “Somebody That I Used To Know” covers:
First up: Walk Off The Earth, naturally. This is some good stuff, made more impressive and captivating by the single-guitar-shared-by-five people approach. (Also, I still think it’s weird how much the guy on the far left looks like Kevin.):
Next is Pentatonix, the five-person (hence the “penta” part of the name) a capella group who were the Season Three winners of The Sing-Off:
Ingrid Michaelson fans — did you know she recorded a cover of this tune? I wasn’t aware until very recently, and was happy to stumble upon it:
The cast of Glee, as usual, pulled off a splendid rendition for last week’s episode:
This acoustic version, by Jake Coco and Madilyn Bailey, is the mellowest of the bunch, replacing some of the intensity with smooth, more steady sound that gives the song a whole different feel:
Honorable Mention — Just to show how widespread this song’s popularity is (among different regions and ages alike), here it is being performed by the Netherlands Radio Choir:
Any other great versions I left off the list? Please send them my way!