Artist of the week: José González
José González is a Swedish indie folk singer-songwriter and guitarist from Gothenburg, Sweden. After an initial foray into hardcore punk bands in the early and mid 90s, he started to develop his unique acoustic style with Junip, an indie band he formed with Elias Araya (drums) and Tobia Winterkorn (keyboards). In their first decade, the trio would end up releasing only a 7” and an EP, due do the successful solo career its leader, who would release two intimate and rather similar Nick Drake-inspired albums: Veneer (2005) and In Our Nature (2007). A couple of tracks from his debut would become popular hits: a cover of The Knife’s “Heartbeats“; and “Crosses“, an original composition that stood-out in the final episode of The O.C. TV series.
Rather surprisingly, José González would dedicate the following years to Junip, releasing the band’s first two albums. Both 2010’s Fields and 2013’s Junip featured a more elaborate take on González dark, low-key and moody indie folk, incorporating other kinetic styles such as pop, blues, electronic, krautrock and ambient sounds. This new approach is quite audible on his long-awaited new album Vestiges & Claws: alongside his trademark whispery voice and fingerpicked acoustic guitar, one can hear intricate guitar overdubs, strings and percussive elements that emanate a warm optimistic feel that González has rarely showcased before.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.