Up until now, Jose Gonzalez could boast a reliable career
arc under his own auspices, having fashioned himself as a singer/songwriter
excelling in dimly lit melodies and a melancholy mindset, traits that brought
him surefire comparisons to the likes of Nick Drake in particular.
Nevertheless, it seems to serve him well to partner with keyboard player Tobias Winterkorn and drummer Elias Araya, fellow Swedes with whom he first became acquainted in the late ‘90s.
The trio made their formal bow under the collective heading of Junip, and while
their full-length debut veers only slightly from the forlorn folk style
Gonzalez pursues on his own, its elegiac ambiance nevertheless provides a
seems comfortable enough submerging his designs within the confines of the
group’s dynamic, a moody tapestry of atmospheric textures, sinewy rhythms and
hushed circumstance. The darker rumblings of “In Every Direction,” the steady
shuffle of “Sweet & Bitter” and the contemplative gaze of “It’s Alright”
all attest to the band’s penchant for introspective musing, but those subtle
nuances also make for an intriguing first encounter. It finds Fields an admirable attempt at fusing
modern folk with alternative intent, a strategy that should help Gonzalez
expand his vision without losing sight of his own sublime visions.
Every Direction,” “Sweet & Bitter” LEE ZIMMERMAN