Veneer

 Veneer
From Gothenburg, Sweden, lone troubadour José González trades in his country’s reputable cheery pop music for something bare and desolate. Attracting overwhelming attention and chart success over in the UK at the start of the year with a scope that is simply voice and acoustic guitar, González leaves Veneer to rely 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” made him a hero in his Swedish homeland with its ponderous emotion and beautiful melody executed powerfully by his glowing guitar work. "Stay in the Shade” offers a sunny, 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. The fact that it was a Top 10 single isn’t surprising either, as González hits every single tender note to transcend the tune into the love song the avant-poppers meant it to be. Veneer is rainy day music at its best and highly recommended for those who take their brooding way too seriously. (Mute)