Published Oct 28, 2014Although José González released an album with his band Junip just last year, it's been more than seven years since the Swedish songwriter issued a solo LP. That will finally change on February 17, when he drops Vestiges & Claws via Mute Records.
González self-produced the album at home in Gothenburg, with additional sessions taking place at local studio Svenska Grammofonstudion. Its diverse sound reportedly came together over a period of years, and unlike González's minimal past works, this one fleshes out the soundscape with beats and backing vocals. Influences include Brazilian music from the '70s, American folk rock and West African blues, with the lyrics tackling the rather grand themes of civilization and humanity.
"It was no doubt a conscious decision to work without a producer," González said in a statement. "I didn't want this to be too polished, or too 'in your face.' Most of all, it's fun to be in complete control of the artistic aspect. Also, I was inspired by and picked up a lot of tricks from the producers I have worked with in the past. I like to use distortion and let things be a little overdriven, which gives things a warmer sound. Sometimes people complain that my music is too muddled, but I really do not want a modern crisp sound. I'd much rather aim somewhere between Shuggie Otis and Simon & Garfunkel."
González hasn't yet released a full song from the album, but a short trailer can be seen below. It shows the songwriter plucking his nylon-string guitar.
That's the album cover above. González promised that tour dates will be announced soon.
Vestiges & Claws:
1. With the Ink of a Ghost
2. Let It Carry You
3. Stories We Build, Stories We Tell
4. The Forest
5. Leaf Off / The Cave
6. Every Age
7. What Will
10. Open Book