Veneer

 Veneer
From Gothenburg, Sweden, lone troubadour José González trades in his country’s reputable cheery pop music for something bare and desolate. Only González and his acoustic guitar, Veneer relies solely on the musician’s skill in operating his hushed instrument and voice, both of which fail to register beyond the noise of a mouse most of the time. "Crosses” found the singer Swedish chart success with its ponderous emotion and beautiful melody executed powerfully by his glowing guitar work. "Stay in the Shade” offers an uncharacteristic rhythm that sounds like the product of an effects pedal. But González’s bread and butter is the poignant acoustic interpretation of blog favourite the Knife’s "Heartbeats,” which sounds even more haunting than the quirky synth-driven original. Veneer is rainy day music at its best and highly recommended for those who take their brooding way too seriously. (Hidden Agenda)