"With his crystal-clear singing voice and vibrant, classically-inspired playing, Jose Gonzalez is one of today’s most remarkable artists, and a testament to the irrefutable power of one man and a guitar.
His debut album ‘Veneer’ captured his magical sound in its purest state, simply beautiful and beautifully simple. Touching on a remarkable array of influences, from folk to classic pop to a dazzling spectrum of world music, ‘Veneer’ touched audiences across the globe. Originally released in Sweden on Imperial Recordings in 2003 and on Hidden Agenda in North America in 2005, ‘Veneer’ was re-issued in the US on Mute Records in 2006. In September 2007 Gonzalez will release his sophomore album, the highly anticipated ‘In Our Nature’ (released in the US on Mute). ‘In Our Nature’ sees Gonzalez coming into his own as a songwriter with songs that are as instantly accessible as they are brimming with darkness and brooding intensity.
Gonzalez, like his music, is deceptively unassuming, studied and powerful. Swedish-born but of Argentinean descent, Gonzalez picked up the guitar at 14, learning the basics from his dad’s gift of a Beatles songbook, then studying classical guitar through his teens. At the same time as he was learning the ins-and-outs of his acoustic instrument, Gonzalez indulged edgier tastes like The Misfits and Black Flag by playing bass in a pair of Gothenburg hardcore bands.
In 1998, Gonzalez began playing guitar in a friend’s indie rock band, saving his own songs for an as-yet-undetermined purpose. He eventually put together his own trio, dubbed Junip, with an ear towards creating more experimental-tinged music a la Low and the Constellation Records catalog (home of, among others, of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, A Silver Mt. Zion, and Do Make Say Think). Incredibly, that wasnâ€™t enough for the young musician. His newfound interest in artists such as Cat Power and Songs: Ohia – as well as a lifelong passion for singers like Chet Baker and Joao Gilberto – compelled him to attempt some solo recordings.
While it is sonically similar to ‘Veneer,’ ‘In Our Nature’ shows Gonzalez’ growth as a songwriter. Displaying a heightened emphasis on melody and strong, focused lyrics – the album is a dark combination of softness and anger that is at once mesmerizing, intimate and hauntingly epic."