Gotye’s gal pal is poised to break the US, writes Cameron Adams
Riding the Gotye wave.
KIMBRA may have set a record for the shortest US tour ever.
The Kiwi- born, Australian- claimed singer has been following her duet with Gotye Somebody That I Used to Know around the world.
In January, Gotye, aka Melbourne’s Wally de Backer, scored his first US talk- show slot performing the song on Jimmy Kimmel.
One problem – it clashed with Kimbra’s Big Day Out commitments in Australia.
But where there’s a will, there’s a way. After stepping off stage at the Melbourne BDO, Kimbra ( pictured) raced to the airport and flew directly to Los Angeles.
‘‘ I landed in LA, got in a car, went to the TV studio, sang the song on Jimmy Kimmel, got straight back into the car, went right back to the airport that night and flew into Adelaide,’’ Kimbra recalls nonchalantly of a 28- hour round- trip for four minutes of TV.
‘‘ An hour after I got off the plane in Adelaide I was on stage at their Big Day Out. You get a second wind of adrenalin . . .’’
That work ethic has set the bar for Kimbra in 2012.
Signed to Warner Music in LA, she is the golden child, earmarked for major success.
The omnipresence of Somebody That I Used to Know – No. 1 in Britain, top 5 with a bullet in the US this week – has kicked doors open. ‘‘ It’s crazy,’’ Kimbra says. ‘‘ I think about being in my room with Wally casually singing the takes, thinking maybe it might be a fourth song on the album, a nice ballad. I knew it was going to be a great song, but no one expected this.’’
Somewhere there is a female Australian act who passed on the song, surely kicking herself. ‘‘ It could have all been different,’’ Kimbra muses.
Importantly, Kimbra had her debut album Vows ready to go once the Gotye rollercoaster started.
‘‘ It has provided a fantastic platform to come to America and say, ‘ Hey, let me show you another side of what we do’,’’ she says.
‘‘ I’m grateful all the hard work was done before we did that track. If you do a collaboration that becomes that big, the problem you run into is if you have nothing to release.
‘‘ We had three videos and a whole album, we were able to back it up. You still feel the pressure, but the work is there.’’
In Austin, Texas, for the South by South West music event, Kimbra and band were playing three shows a day, capitalising on being a ‘‘ buzz act’’.
She is now supporting Gotye on his sold- out US tour, then will return for a headline tour of Australia ( playing her biggest venues yet), before heading back to the US to open for Foster The People, with whom she has recorded a single.
In fact it seems as though she’ll be touring for the bulk of the year.
‘‘ World domination makes me sound like a dictator, but it feels like it’s just starting in America and the UK,’’ she says. ‘‘ It’s great to have a loyal fan base in Australia and New Zealand. People in America say how polished our band are, but that didn’t happen overnight; that came from doing all this touring back home,’’ she says.
‘‘ That’s one positive from coming from the other side of the world – you get a chance to nurture your sound, so when you come to America that first impression is everything. So I’ve come to terms with the fact there won’t really be a home this year, it’ll be constant touring, but that’s a first- world problem to have.
‘‘ I’m not complaining.’’