José González


Restraint is a rare virtue in a world where big, brash and bold grab the bulk of our attention, but it's a quality José González holds in abundance. The Swedish-born singer is not one to shout when simply speaking will do. His delicate tenor and six nylon strings are more than enough to cut through the din.Instead of volume, González builds his power through accumulation. His songs unspool gradually, his fingers tracing a zodiac of musical constellations, his melodies charting a course through the emerging cosmos. Then, just when it seems like everything is about to come into focus, the last chord rings out and the cycle begins again. Watching González perform is a process of repeatedly getting lost, without ever realizing you've been wandering. As restrained as González is within his songs, it's nothing compared to his patience between releases. In the 13 years since his debut album Veneer, he's only recorded two solo albums: 2007's In Our Nature, and last year's Vestiges and Claws. The eight years between those releases weren't exactly silent —there were collaborations and side-projects scattered throughout — but he clearly believes in speaking only when he has something worth saying. All the more reason to listen closely when he does.

« Back to list of performers