José González Returns with new solo album ‘Vestiges & Claws’
His First solo album since 2007’s In Our Nature
José González has announced Vestiges & Claws, his first new solo album since 2007’s In Our Nature. It’s out February 17, 2015 via Mute, and was self-produced by González in Gothenburg, Sweden. That’s the cover above. He’s also shared an album trailer, which you can watch below.
Since the release of In Our Nature, González recorded two studio albums with Junip and contributed to the soundtrack for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. In a press release, he noted that the new album moves away from the “minimalistic” sound of his previous albums—and that it consists solely of original material, a first. [via Pitchfork]
Vestiges & Claws:
01 With the Ink of a Ghost
02 Let It Carry You
03 Stories We Build, Stories We Tell
04 The Forest
05 Leap Off / The Cave
06 Every Age
07 What Will
10 Open Book
José Gabriel González (born July 31, 1978) is a Swedish indie folk singer-songwriter and guitarist from Gothenburg, Sweden. González is also a member of the Swedish band Junip, along with Tobias Winterkorn.
González’ parents moved from Argentina to Sweden in 1976. He was born in 1978, two years after his academic psychologist father, mother, and older sister, then an infant, fled Argentina after an ultra-conservative military junta seized power in March 1976 at the beginning of the “Dirty War“. González was born in a suburb of Gothenburg, Sweden. He commented, “It’s a very small town. It has about a half-million people living there. It’s a pretty good music city by the ocean. It rains a lot there, but it’s beautiful in the summertime.” González grew up listening to Latin folk and pop music, and has named Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez as a favourite artist. He said the first concert he went to was “The Wailers. I got their autographs and everything. I was about 12 or so. At the time my favourite music was Bob Marley and Michael Jackson.”
The first band he played in was Back Against the Wall, a Gothenburg hardcore punk band influenced by Black Flag, The Misfits and theDead Kennedys.He later played bass guitar in another hardcore band, Renascence, between 1993–1998. Between 1997 and 1998 José played guitar with rock band Only if You Call Me Jonathan.
In June 2003 González released his debut solo release, a two-track 7″ single. The single was discovered by Joakim Gävert, co-founder of the then fledgling label Imperial Records who then signed González as their first official artist. In October he released his debut album, Veneer, in Europe. The album was subsequently released in the UK on 25 April 2005, and in the United States on 6 September 2005. The album was made while González was studying for a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Gothenburg, which he has not completed due to a lack of time since his musical career has taken off.
González’ trademark sound is solo classical guitar with soft vocal melody. His work, although mostly original, also includes acoustic covers of such hits as “Heartbeats” by his fellow Swedes The Knife, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division, “Born in the U.S.A.” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad” by Bruce Springsteen, “Hand on Your Heart” by Kylie Minogue, “Smalltown Boy” by Bronski Beat, “Teardrop” by Massive Attack and “Last Snowstorm of the Year” by Low.
His second album, In Our Nature, was released internationally on 22 September 2007. The album’s lyrical content was in part influenced by his reading of books like The God Delusion by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and Practical Ethics by ethicist Peter Singer. González is an atheist and a vegetarian.
In 2007 González won an EBBA Award. Every year the European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA) recognize the success of ten emerging artists or groups who reached audiences outside their own countries with their first internationally released album in the past year.