I had just parked my car and was walking towards Markham street in Little Rock Arkansas. My plan was to go find some place to eat before heading towards Juanita’s, a music venue/Mexican restaurant, where José González was performing later that night. As I approached an intersection onto Markham I looked up from the ground and of course passing right in front of me was the man himself, Jose Gonzalez. It was one of those moments where your my mind just blanks and you have no idea how to handle the situation. I could not comprehend that I was currently making eye contact with one of my favorite musicians in the middle of a street in Little Rock. The only thing I could think to myself was “play it cool”. Never in my life had I been so star struck, and never in my life have I regretted a missed opportunity so much. So here’s to hoping I can run into José again someday to make up for it.
José González is a Swedish singer/songwriter born of Argentinian parents. After a short period of time spent in various hardcore bands, he began his journey towards the indie folk he’s know for today. His first project was with a few friends which was entitled Junip. Junip released its’ first EP in 2000 and has released a few records since. It wasn’t until 2003 that he finally released his first solo project, and that didn’t release in the U.S. until 2004. Since then he has gained a large global following especially in Europe and the U.S. His music has been featured in a variety of television shows, a few video game titles, and made up a majority of 2013’s ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’. Think of his music as the ultimate adventure/wanderlust soundtrack. Most recently in 2015, González released an album and has been touring with friends like multi-instrumentalist James Mathé (who has released solo work under the name Barbarossa) and others.
José’s sound is one of the more unique sounds I’ve heard out of a singer/songwriter in recent years. His vocals are incredibly soft, verging on ethereal, conveying most of his power and emotion through his lyrics and instrumental backing. On the guitar he is comparable to the likes Ben Howard, but he often relies on simplistic instrumentals to back the message. Such as in the case of ‘Every Age‘. Throughout the entire 3 minute song he maintains the same simple beat and same 3 chords . Lyrically Every Age conveys the scale of our world and the beauty in the cycle of life, but again this just an example of José’s use of simplistic means to share his ideas. I believe that in itself is part of what makes his music so beautiful. You may not enjoy the genre of music that José is in, but I promise you, you will get lost in its’ beauty and simplicity.
So, give him a try. Take some time to enjoy the stories he tells through his music and let it take you somewhere far away. IHYEB.
Here’s a quick sampler for you!