Swedish folk artist José González has long been my go-to artist for introspective train rides and flights home. For someone who fell in love with the hit “Heartbeats” and his 2007 album, In Our Nature, González’s latest work, Vestiges & Claws (2015) does not disappoint.
Vestiges & Claws, which will be released on February 17, is the musical equivalent of a well-worn sketchbook – filled with love poems, landscape drawings, and philosophical musings. The entire album maintains González’s characteristically uncomplicated harmonies; however, while he sticks to his acoustic roots, each song is unique and takes on its own identity to distinguish itself from the others. From the beachy vibes of “Let it Carry You” to the instrumental track “Vissel”, each track is an honest narrative with a divine harmony. The messages González intends to convey in “The Forest” and “Leaf Off/The Cave” are not only reflected lyrically, but also stylistically with the pan flutes to complement the wind-inspired background. “Open Book” is the most introspective track of Vestiges & Claws as González thinks out loud, “Asking myself what it’s all about/ What am I doing here, what this leading to/ What’s the point of all… without you”.
Vestiges & Claws is completely unassuming. It demands nothing from its listeners except for them to soak in González’ musical diary. González is touring to promote the album, starting in April. Order tickets here, and preorder Vestiges & Claws here.
Article by Kavitha George