Though it’s been seven years since José González released an album, the Swedish folk artist has hardly receded from the spotlight. Since then, he’s released two albums with his band Junip, contributed two solo songs to the The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty soundtrack, and appeared on a handful of charity compilations. Now, he’s announced his official solo return with Vestiges & Claws, a new solo album out February 17th via Mute.
González’s third album total and follow-up to 2007’s In Our Nature, Vestiges & Claws was self-produced and recorded in his Gothenburg, Sweden home kitchen as well as at the recording studio Svenska Grammofonstudion. In a statement, he said, “It was no doubt a conscious decision to work without a producer. 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.” He continued, “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.”
According to a press release, González found inspiration from “’70s Brazilian productions, American folk rock, and West African desert blues” and promises to explore bigger and darker themes. He explained that the album explores, “The amazing fact that we at all are here, an attempt at encouraging to understand ourselves and to make the best of the only life we have – after birth and before death.” He added, “And also, I’ve been okay with using rhymes this time. In general, I think that the lyrics are clearer this time. And a little less self-pitying.”
Check out a teaser trailer along with the tracklist and artwork below.
Vestiges & Claws Tracklist:
01. With the Ink of a Ghost
02. Let It Carry You
03. Stories We Build, Stories We Tell
04. The Forest
05. Leap Off / The Cave
06. Every Age
07. What Will
10. Open Book