JOSE GONZALEZ

Moseley Folk 2017 - Jose Gonzalez

Returning to Moseley Folk after a triumphant headline performance in 2008 followed by an equally successful slot with his band Junip, José González will be familiar to festival regulars and a major draw for those attending for the first time. Born in Sweden to Argentine parents, José spent his childhood listening to Latin folk and pop music. His debut album Veneer was released in Europe in 2003 but not until 2005 in the UK and USA, where his trademark classical guitar and gentle vocals have achieved record breaking sales. Veneer’s follow up In Our Nature was equally successful. In his work, González uses lyrical symbolism to bring out the primitive qualities of people, but at the same time his music displays his own personal complexity. He was once studying a biochemistry PhD in Gothenburg, and he approaches music in a similar vein; patiently and methodically looking for new, unexpected angles. His outstanding original material mixes delicate acoustic plucking with powerful percussive strumming, and occasionally allows elements of bossa nova to seep in. José has also become world renowned for his cover versions, which offer unexpected takes on artists as diverse as Springsteen, Kylie and Massive Attack. His minimal, understated live performances allow the beauty of his music to speak for itself.

In 2010 Junip, in which he plays with Tobias Winterkorn, released Fields, which according to American Songwriter “unfolded a whole new light” on González’s career. The Guardian called it “an album to savour when autumn leaves are falling – and through the rest of the year, too” while Daily News commented that the record “has a touch of the otherworldly, offering the kind of glowing sound you could float away on”. The band’s eponymous follow-up in 2013 received similar acclaim, with Under the Radar writing “less is more -or so the saying goes… when they pull back they almost consistently find their sweet spot”.

In 2015 Gonzalez turned back to his solo career and won an IMPALA Album of the Year award for his next effort Vestiges and Claws. A third top 10 record in Sweden, All Music’s write up of the album describes his entire oeuvre well: “These are incredibly moving songs full of bittersweet asides that strike you at first with their haiku-like simplicity, only to draw you deeper into González’s iceberg of ideas. Ultimately, it’s this ability to stop you in your tracks and hold you with the warmth of his voice as you contemplate your existence that makes Vestiges & Claws such an arresting, uplifting joy”.