Release Date: 17 Sep 2021
Indies exclusive translucent green vinyl
Few people have managed to become quite so celebrated worldwide, quite as quietly as José González has. Local Valley, his long awaited fourth album, serves as a relieving reminder that you don’t have to be loud to be heard.
Since his debut single ‘Crosses’ back in 2003, both he and his music have remained dependably quiet and unassuming. Local Valley calmly exhibits his singular ability to communicate with such modesty and power. Beginning with the sun-dappled ‘El Invento’, the first song he’s recorded in Spanish (the native tongue of his Argentinian heritage), and ending with the intimate yet rhapsodic ‘Honey Honey’. Along the way it engages in his signature melodic and metrical hypnotism, showcasing his remarkable fingerpicking skills, while there’s further evidence of his love for music from around the world (he references an inspiring jam session in Gothenburg with Niger artist Bombino) and for the first time, the introduction of a drum machine on a few songs, further widening José´s musical spectrum.
The record, full of his trademark bittersweet pastoralism, includes what González considers “my most accomplished songs to date”. While continuing his tradition of reinterpreting songs by other artists, with ‘Line Of Fire' he picks one written for Junip, the band he formed with friends in 1998. That the original version has now been streamed some 60 million times suggest it, like other songs he’s covered, is now part of the songwriting canon.
Local Valley, González cheerfully acknowledges, “is similar to my other solo albums in sound and spirit, a natural continuation of the styles I’ve been adding through the years both solo and with Junip. I set out to write songs in the same vein: short, melodic and rhythmical, a mixture of classic folk singer songwriting and songs with influences from Latin America and Africa. It’s more outward looking than my earlier works, but no less personal. On the contrary, I feel more comfortable than ever saying that this album reflects me and my thoughts right now.”