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It has been just over seven years since In Our Nature, the last solo record by Jose Gonzalez, but in that time he has been quite busy. He has recorded two albums with his band, Junip, co-written the score to The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty and contributed a song to the Red Hot Charity album. Vestiges & Claws is Jose Gonzalez’s third solo outing and completes the set of his acoustic trilogy with his trademark hushed vocals and complex guitar playing.

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Vestiges & Claws by Jose Gonzalez
2 reviews. Write a review for us »
9/10 Clinton Staff review, 12 February 2015

It’s been almost 12 years since Jose Gonzales beautiful ‘Veneer’ album brought him enormous success when his cover of The Knife’s “Heartbeats” went whatever was the 2003 version of viral was when it appeared on a Sony advert. Since then the short and understated “In Our Nature” appeared in 2007 then ….well...nothing. Though he has been busy with his excellent band Junip, I’d long suspected Gonzales solo career was kind of over so it’s a nice surprise to hear a brand new full length from him.

The template remains identical, Gonzales plucks at a woody sounding classical guitar and sings in a style remarkably similar to Arthur Russell. Our Kim who has just heard him for the first time describes it as music that is just “right” somehow. Indeed,  this sound is warm, melancholic but somehow soothing. Gonzales, though Swedish,  has roots in Argentina and his music has that South American flourish to it which can be heard in the complex guitar fingerpicking. The songs seem pretty strong on first listen, particularly ‘Let It Carry You’ which glides along with bubbling guitar and minimal percussion. For the uninitiated think about Sun Kil Moon’s ‘Admiral Fell Promises’ or Nick Drake’s ‘Pink Moon’  - there are certainly also hints of the early 70’s folkies like John Martyn and Terry Callier.

For the initiated, this is another good Jose Gonzales album  -it does all that you’d hope  - Junip’s albums are decent but seem to lose something as debris is placed over Gonzales guitar and vocals. This is back to basics with only minimal percussion and the odd flute flutter and its lovely.   

10/10 Anton Customer rating (no review), 23rd January 2018


José González - Every Age (Official Music Video) - YouTube



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