José González makes his long-overdue return with the upcoming release of his fourth studio record. Local Valley, out September 17 via Mute, emerges as the acclaimed singer-songwriter’s first album in nearly six years, following Vestiges & Claws (2015). With the album reveal, he also releases a brand new called “Visions,” hitting digital retailers today (April 14).
The first lyrics for “Visions” initially came to González back in February 2020 “just as there were more and more tweets about the possible pandemic. The topic of the song felt very timely,” the Swedish singer-songwriter says in a press statement. “You can hear the birds and ambient sounds from the veranda, along with a layer of synth loops in the background.”
“We are the apes that are starting to understand the universe and our place in it. We are changing our surroundings in an exceedingly rapid pace,” he continues, “so much that we’re becoming stewards of our planet whether we like it or not. As Stewart Brand said, ‘We are as gods and we have to get good at it.’”
Local Valley (now up for pre-order), recorded at Studio Koltrast Hakefjorden, located inside his family’s summer home, lying north of Gothenburg, sees González utilize the “sound and spirit” of his previous work as a “natural continuation of the styles I’ve been adding through the years both solo and with Junip,” he details of the album. “I set out to write songs in the same vein as my old ones: 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.”
“Many of these songs have a crystal-clear, secular humanist agenda: anti-dogma, pro-reason,” he adds. But he’s quick to add there is “no political agenda, though, at least not in a classical left-right spectrum. Maybe in a globalist-secular vs. theocratic-nationalist way: the focus is on underlying worldviews, and on our existential questions as smart apes on a quest to understand ourselves and our place in the cosmos.”
Later this month, González will perform as part of National Geographic’s Earth Day celebration on April 21. More info here.
Check out the album tracklist below:
- “El Invento”
- “The Void”
- “Head On”
- “Valle Local”
- “Lasso ln”
- “Lilla G”
- “Line of Fire”
- “En Stund Pa Jorden”
- “Honey Honey”