Swedish songwriter José González has one of the most recognizable sounds in indie folk. González's new album "Vestiges & Claws" is his first new solo album since the release of "In Our Nature" in September of 2007.

Vestiges & Claws is a marrying of Gonzalez’s minimalistic solo sound with the upbeat, indie rock sounds of his band Junip. This is best illustrated in the fourth song on the album “Leaf Off/The Cave.” With soft vocals, intricate classical guitar picking, and bright textured melodies, the entirety of the album radiates some whimsical, ghostly vibes.

Still minimal, his new works seem to be more concentrated; every verse is refined, using the fewest words to convey the grandest of ideas. Beautifully arranged melodies are juxtaposed against the backdrop of somber and profound lyrics.

This can be seen in “Every Age” as Gonzalez contemplates existentialism:

We don't choose where we're born,

We don't choose in what part or form

But we can learn to know ourselves on this cloud in the void


This lofty idea that, despite not being able to choose our origins, we can still chose to know ourselves, lends to Gonzalez’s approach to life: Presenting questions without answers in an attempt to discover more about ourselves and our humanity; Seeking for seeking’s sake.

This soothing, carefully crafted work will definitely make it into my vinyl collection. It should make it into your music collection as well.

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