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Vestiges & Claws

Swedish folkie unfurls his gentle beauty, very slowly

Jose Gonzalez

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 13: Portrait of Swedish musician Jose Gonzalez photographed before a performance with his psychedelic rock group Junip at the Village Underground in London, on May 13, 2012. (Photo by Kevin Nixon/Guitarist Magazine via Getty Images)

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Vestiges & Claws

Swedish singer-songwriter José González’s new album — which is just the third LP from the 36-year-old artist, in a 12-year solo career — sticks to the formula that has served him well in the past. Intricate fingerpicking backs up his soft vocals; melodies flow without urgency; vague but evocative lyrics drift to the surface. González’s lyrics focus on aging and the inevitability of loss. “All of this will be gone someday,” goes the refrain on the yearning “Afterglow.” The album’s best track, the fragile meditation “Open Book,” is its last — which makes perfect sense coming from someone whose subtle, carefully crafted music delivers rewards to listeners who know how to wait.

In This Article: Jose Gonzalez

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