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Kimbra: somebody that you kind of know

Splendour In The Grass - Day 1

Splendour In The Grass - Day 1

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9 p.m. Wednesday

Metro, 3730 N. Clark

Tickets, $20

Updated: November 15, 2012 6:24AM

She’s the girl on the Gotye record. By Kimbra’s reckoning, having that place in people’s minds isn’t a bad place from which to start.

After all, the omnipresent “Somebody That I Used to Know” is one of 2012’s biggest, most recognizable hits.

“I don’t see any negativity in it, because it’s always so positive for everyone,” the New Zealand native says. “I feel confident, for me and for Gotye, that we are artists that have more to offer than just one song. I don’t think it’s a threat to have that song behind us.”

Kimbra’s own album, “Vows,” went platinum in both New Zealand and Australia and came out in America in May. The single “Warrior,” which has received a smattering of top 40 and alternative radio spins, features Canadian electro-house DJ A-Trak and Foster the People’s Mark Foster.

She and Foster “really clicked in the studio together,” says Kimbra (a k a Kimbra Lee Johnson). “Although his roots are quite pop, he definitely gravitates to really interesting melodies and cool changes and progressions that I get excited about.”

Gotye fans shouldn’t expect Kimbra’s music to sound like his, but there’s a logical progression from one artist’s music to the other. The two share a producer, François Tétaz, who encourages an experimental approach to producing sounds.

“We used all kind of things, from an asthma inhaler to just chucking things on the ground, whatever we could find in the handbag that people would be confused by,” Kimbra says.

The 22-year-old singer is especially enamored with the notion of manipulating her voice, both physically and electronically.

“Singers get into the mentality that you always have to sound ‘pretty’ when you sing,” she says. “I get into the idea of treating it more like an instrument and taking kind of a primal approach to it.”

Before she and Gotye got covered with body paint for “Somebody’s” sensual video, she had used a similar idea for “Vows’ ” cover art.

“When Gotye said that was the concept of the video, I laughed,” she says. “I was like, ‘I’ve already done that.’ ”

She wouldn’t be averse to revisiting the concept in the future, she says. “It’s so much more interesting to have your body as the canvas and to have the work done directly on it.” However, she adds, “I wouldn’t want to overkill it.”

Gannett News Service

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