Jose Gonzalez Vestiges And Claws on LP + Download
Mute is excited to announce the release of José González’s new record, Vestiges & Claws. The album, his first in seven years, was produced by González in his home as well as Svenska Grammofonstudion, both in Gothenburg, Sweden. It contains years worth of musical sketches that in other hands might naturally sprawl wildly in sound and style, but on Vestiges & Claws González has created a collection of songs that cohere just about perfectly, ensuring his position as one of the most important artists of his generation.
“It was no doubt a conscious decision to work without a producer,” said González. “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.”
The result is an album that is less purist, less strict. One can find traces of inspired protest songs and eccentric folk rock on Vestiges & Claws: staccato grooves and rhythms, frustration and optimism. It’s a collection that is simultaneously confident, free and uncertain.
González said, “I started out thinking that I wanted to continue in the same minimalistic style as on my two previous records, but once I started the actual recordings I soon realized that most of the songs turned out better with added guitars and a more beat-like percussion, and with more backing vocals.”
Vestiges & Claws is the first album where he has chosen to include exclusively original material, largely revolving around ideas of civilization, humanism and solidarity. Whether influenced by science or personal experience, the lyrics show him focusing on a broader universal philosophy.
Where Veneer and In Our Nature, might have sounded sparse and barren in parts, Vestiges & Claws has an altogether new feeling to it, at once warmer and darker than before. He talks about how he’s found inspiration in sprawling 70’s Brazilian productions, American folk rock and West African desert blues this time. And how he’s decided to waive the principle of having everything on the album reproducible in a live context.
A deep, artful thinker whose singular approach to song writing and sonics sets him worlds apart, José González is in a class by himself. He has a voice. He has a sound. He has a point of view. Vestiges & Claws - musically gorgeous, strikingly profound in lyric - has a unique and quietly visceral power that is as an outstanding addition to what is now an impressive body of work. The album is, without question, the most highly anticipated of his career.
Jose Gonzalez Vestiges And Claws Track Listing:
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