Like many other young men with guitars, José González began his musical journey in dingy practice spaces, playing in now forgotten hardcore bands. Back then, he would however put away his distortion pedals from time to time and join his sister as she went to her flamenco lessons, where he would accompany the dancing on his nylon stringed guitar. The exercises would prove to be useful when started writing acoustic songs back in his apartment. Bossanova, Cuban nueva trova; slow, instrumental post rock by American bands in flanel shirts – the spread of influenses was wide but a lot of the things that shaped his music in those early days featured guitar playing that was at once advanced, dynamic and melancoly.

Ten years have passed since José González had a couple of hundred copies of his first vinyl seven inch record pressed, he has toured around the globe extensively, has fans everywhere and not least amongst fellow musicians – he has performed with Tinariwen – and his music is featured on tv and in films (recently in Ben Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”). But looking back it seems like he knew even back in the beginning, when he recorded his song “Crosses”, how he wanted to go about making music: His acoustic guitar tuned down low, now and then a sparse rhythm played on congas or maracas. His vocals so intimate that one easily imagines that José González hase plugged himself in to the other end of the headphone cable, playing just for me.

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