Song of the Day: José González – Every Age

Song of the Day
12/01/2014
Jacob Webb
photo by Malin Johannsson

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Every Age” by José González from the 2015 album Vestiges & Claws on Mute Records.

José González – Every Age (MP3)

José González's sparse and resonant songwriting put him at the forefront of a wave of acoustic-based singer-songwriters in the early 2000s. Born in Sweden to parents who fled Argentina during the Dirty War, González was musically-inclined from his early years, playing in hardcore punk bands in his teens before shifting towards a less aggressive, acoustic style anchored in fingerpicked classical guitar. González wrote the songs for his debut album, 2003's Veneer, while finishing a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Gothenburg, but after his cover of The Knife's "Heartbeats" was featured in a Sony commercial, his music career became his primary project. (As of 2014, he has yet to finish his degree.) Working concurrently with Junip, his band with keyboardist Tobias Winterkorn, González has released an additional two solo albums, with a fourth album, entitled Vestiges & Claws, due in early 2015. González's music has always been the strongest at its most nuanced, and "Every Age" continues that trend. Built like most of his songs with spartan, resonant vocals and sharply picked guitar, González voice begins the song listing simple pleas for progress and positivity with a softly melodic tone that implies a dichotomous split between optimism and realism. As the song progresses, González's voice becomes stronger and more heavily layered, and by the end of its upward, subtle climax, "Every Age" stands as a rallying whisper that may just well start a slow revolution.

José González is playing a few shows in Thailand this month before embarking on a proper tour in February, including a stops in Portland and Vancouver on April 24th and 25th. (There's no announced Seattle-area date yet.) Keep up with José at his website and Facebook, and below, watch the video for "Every Age".

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