tmrw exclusive interview

José González and the seven year wait.

I refer to it as the seven year wait. Although as José González corrects me, it has in fact been seven and a half years since the release of his second album, ‘In Our Nature’. Last month saw his third record come to light and it was a welcome return.

González is softly spoken and a little shy – endearingly so, in a way that makes his extraordinary musicianship all the more enticing. Live he still retains this modesty in between songs, but his performances are powerful and affecting. As I watch from above at his most recent London show – selling out two nights at Scala – I am struck by the poetry of this quiet character.

In an age where acoustica is a dying breed, González is breathing new life into the singer-songwriter mould with Vestiges & Claws. Recorded mostly at his home in Gothenburg, its polyphonic, textured soundscape is a far cry from the synth-saturated electronica invading the industry of late. Acoustic guitars are rich and booming, intricate drum beats are layered and diverse, whilst González’s voice retains that arresting warmth that we have come to know.

He tells me that his Western African was “stronger than ever” on this record, and the rhythmic clarity certainly drives it forward, especially its narrative. Weaving stories about the human condition, the music certainly holds hands with the record’s lyricism.

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