FIRST NEW STUDIO ALBUM IN MORE THAN FIVE YEARS
OUT SEPTEMBER 17
credit: Peter Toggeth / Mikel Cee Karlsson
“José González’s songs ask big questions.” – PITCHFORK
“José González wrestles with the big unknowables in a way that makes them seem of vital importance, even if the seeking usually doesn’t end anywhere conclusive. Follow his open-ended metaphysical quest, and your rewards are not obvious aphorisms, but little lotus-blossom moments of bracing clarity or unexpected majesty… In his coy way, González is stripping things down to their essence in hopes of reaching souls numbed by a rush of information.” – NPR
“There’s plenty to get bummed about with life on Earth as we know it…It’s refreshing to hear a voice like José González’s coming out and sticking up for the good things we forget: the serenity of the woods, the peacefulness of the clouds, the ability to have these experiences.”
– CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND
“Jose Gonzalez has developed one of the most recognizable sounds in indie rock. His voice is a singular instrument, warm and textured, like a soft leather glove rubbing against skin, and he complements it with circular melodies played on a custom-tuned guitar.” – BILLBOARD
Visionary singer-songwriter-guitarist José González has announced the release of his eagerly awaited fourth solo studio album. LOCAL VALLEY will arrive via Mute on September 17. González’s first new studio recording in more than five years will be available via both black and colored vinyl, CD, and digital platforms. LOCAL VALLEY is preceded by today’s premiere of the album’s first single, “Visions,” available now at all DSPs and streaming services. Listen here.
All album pre-orders will include registration for upcoming tour dates currently planned for later this year. Pre-order here.
Of “Visions,” González says, “We are the apes that are starting to understand the universe and our place in it. We are changing our surroundings in an exceedingly rapid pace, so much that we’re becoming stewards of our planet whether we like it or not. As Stewart Brand said, ‘We are as gods and we have to get good at it.’ The lyrics came to me in early February 2020 just as there were more and more tweets about the possible pandemic. The topic of the song felt very timely. You can hear the birds and ambient sounds from the veranda, along with a layer of synth loops in the background."
Recorded at Studio Koltrast Hakefjorden, which González set up in his family’s summer house north of Gothenburg, LOCAL VALLEY “is similar to my other solo albums in sound and spirit,” he says, “a natural continuation of the styles I’ve been adding through the years both solo and with Junip. I set out to write songs in the same vein as my old ones: short, melodic and rhythmical, a mixture of classic folk singer songwriting and songs with influences from Latin America and Africa. It’s more outward looking than my earlier works, but no less personal. On the contrary, I feel more comfortable than ever saying that this album reflects me and my thoughts right now.”
On LOCAL VALLEY – which follows the 2015 release of González’s acclaimed VESTIGES & CLAWS – he sings in three languages (English, Spanish and Swedish) and it provides a welcome reminder of the Gothenburg, Sweden-based artist’s understated appeal and singular ability to communicate discreetly. These 13 thought-provoking, meticulously crafted songs sound as characteristically confident and rich in compelling detail as anything in his prior canon. Much like renowned physicist Brian Cox, whose Human Universe afforded a key source of insight, Gonzalez addresses substantial affairs in an accessible manner suited to his music’s apparently ingenuous nature. Indeed, the artist is well placed to delve into complex themes: when not making music or taking care of his daughter, he’s busy investigating topics like effective altruism, secular humanism, and eco-modernism.
“Many of these songs have a crystal-clear, secular humanist agenda: anti-dogma, pro-reason,” González says. “There’s no political agenda, though, at least not in a classical left-right spectrum. Maybe in a globalist-secular vs. theocratic-nationalist way: the focus is on underlying worldviews, and on our existential questions as smart apes on a quest to understand ourselves and our place in the cosmos.”
LOCAL VALLEY was first heralded last month by the first single, “El Invento,” available now at all DSPs and streaming services. González’s only publicly released song to feature lyrics in Spanish, for which he credits his young daughter with helping him during the writing process, “El Invento” is joined by an official music video streaming now at YouTube. Watch here.
“El Invento” – which was first debuted by González during a special live performance as part of the 2020 Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies – was met by immediate critical applause upon its arrival, with Paste writing, “The song asks questions of creation and purpose against a gentle Spanish guitar as the video offers a sweet glimpse into simple, domestic life,” adding, “The music video for ‘El Invento’ features the song’s lyrics in both Spanish and English, making it easy to enjoy the profound lyrical work of González in either language.” “El Invento” “is a quiet and truly pretty piece of music,” wrote Stereogum. “González’s multi-tracked voice sounds as beautiful as ever, and other than a fluttery finger picked guitar and a soft metronomic beat, it’s all we hear on the song.” “When the world feels particularly intense and anxiety-ridden right now,” declared Far Out, “González breaking his six-year silence with ‘El Invento’ is an appreciated gift that we should all indulge ourselves in.”
MORE ABOUT JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ
Hailed by Rolling Stone as “someone whose subtle, carefully crafted music delivers rewards to listeners who know how to wait,” José González’s stellar career can only be described as a dream. His classic interpretation of The Knife’s “Heartbeats” provided the son of Argentinean parents with a jumpstart that has since tallied more than 1B streams, over 150 licensed TV, film, and videogame uses, and a major presence on radio stations around the globe. He has won a range of honors, performed on high-profile network television shows, headlined prestigious festivals, sold out concert venues on virtually all continents, and collaborated with Ben Stiller on an inventive film soundtrack. González’s warm, intimate voice and tender harmonies, underlined by a dexterously plucked Spanish guitar and muted percussion, deliver profoundly thoughtful lyrics largely revolving around ideas of civilization, humanism, and solidarity. A sincere, artful performer whose singular approach to songwriting and sonics sets him worlds apart, José González is in a class by himself.
Local Valley Tracklist
1. El Invento
3. The Void
5. Head On
6. Valle Local
7. Lasso ln
8. Lilla G
11. Line of Fire
12. En Stund Pa Jorden
13. Honey Honey
JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ UNVEILS “EL INVENTO”
ACCLAIMED SWEDISH SINGER-SONGWRITER-GUITARIST RETURNS WITH
FIRST NEW SONG IN MORE THAN FIVE YEARS
“EL INVENTO” SONG AND LYRIC VIDEO PREMIERE
LISTEN TO “EL INVENTO”
WATCH THE “EL INVENTO” LYRIC VIDEO
“Every now and then I try to write lyrics in Spanish,” González says. “This time I succeeded! I guess talking to Laura in Spanish everyday helped. I started writing ‘El Invento’ in the fall of 2017 when Laura was born and finished it seven months later. The song is about the questions – who we are, where we’re going, and why? Who can we thank for our existence? Historically, most traditions have invented answers to these questions. Thereof the name of the song: The Invention (god).”
Hailed by Rolling Stone as “someone whose subtle, carefully crafted music delivers rewards to listeners who know how to wait,” González recently debuted “El Invento” with a special live performance as part of the 2020 Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies.
José González’s stellar career can only be described as a dream. His classic interpretation of The Knife’s “Heartbeats” provided the son of Argentinean parents with a jumpstart that has since tallied more than 1 billion streams, over 150 licensed TV, film, and videogame uses, and a major presence on radio stations around the globe. He has won a range of honors, performed on high-profile network television shows, headlined prestigious festivals, sold out concert venues on virtually every continent, and collaborated with Ben Stiller on an inventive film soundtrack. González’s warm, intimate voice and tender harmonies, underlined by a dexterously plucked Spanish guitar and muted percussion, deliver profoundly thoughtful lyrics largely revolving around ideas of civilization, humanism, and solidarity. A sincere, artful performer whose singular approach to songwriting and sonics sets him worlds apart, José González is in a class by himself.
Gonzalez’s most recent release, 2018’s JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ & THE STRING THEORY LIVE IN EUROPE, collects music recorded during his acclaimed 2017 European tour with maverick orchestra The String Theory. The album includes stirringly original performances of songs originally found on González’s three celebrated solo albums: 2003’s breakthrough debut VENEER, 2007’s IN OUR NATURE, and 2015’s VESTIGES & CLAWS, as well as remarkable new renditions of his already unique versions of “Heartbeats” and Massive Attack’s “Teardrop.” A deluxe heavyweight, double-colored 180g-vinyl box set limited edition of JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ & THE STRING THEORY LIVE IN EUROPE, featuring exclusive content and housed in a signed, bespoke slipcase package, is available now at González’s official store.
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