Artist: Jose Gonzalez
Album: Local valley
Track number: 13
Labels: City Slang
Release date: September 17, 2021
From a park in Gothenburg, Sweden, after sunbathing with longtime partner Hanel Fernestrom and their two young children, Jose Gonzalez went for a leisurely evening walk and talked to us. Local valley, Her fourth solo album and her first in English, Spanish and Swedish. With Local valley, His music – defined by artistic beats and poetic lyrics – evolves into something light-hearted and wonderful, yet still skillful and epic, sometimes pleasantly unexpected. Just like what he does, Jose’s sincerity shines through.
“Similarly, I always try to write and record songs that have a universal theme and a touch of melody, but try to stand apart, trying to find something that will feel unique. I’ve tried a lot this time to read a lot and include words and meanings related to thinkers bigger than me, ”Jose says with a light smile. “Maybe it’s something that translates. I do not know. I think it’s a matter of taste. ”
Join us “On the Record” to discuss Jose Gonzalez’s incredible lightness Local valley.
Was your process for Local valley Different from your other albums?
Yes, it was different. I can refer to it in a similar way. I’m on my own, I do my guitar, and then the melody, and then the song, and then I record it on my own and then I take some help to mix it up and master it, but it’s a very lonely thing. It’s the same because I mostly just stuck to the guitar and vocals, but this time, as soon as I had half the album with the guitar and vocals, I wanted to put on my producer’s hat and change it a bit by mixing style that’s when I started using the drum machine and Loop vocal and guitar and switch between production styles.
I have a song in Swedish, which I made in a very sacred style, like if I were in a church, compared to “Head On”, which is more based on the West African style. Also, I think another difference is how I wrote and recorded, which is in the countryside, in a dark room, rather than in the city. I was in a wooden house with windows by nature.
How did immersion in nature affect the process?
It just flowed – it flowed better than my writing and my recordings. Maybe because of the break, but maybe because of nature. Being in a light mood and not getting stuck too often, I think it gives the album a more open feeling. Of course, all the nature-inspired metaphors I’ve used in the last two albums, I think it’s probably because I think of the song when I’m running or walking in nature.
How was it making an album in three languages?
This time it was actually easier. I didn’t find it hard at all, but the times I tried it before, I felt like I got stuck and switched to English, and then all of a sudden it flowed. It’s fun to not get stuck with music or not get stuck with songs. In a way, just want to try different styles and try different languages. In many ways, I think I’m presenting myself more. The Caribbean style of “swing” is consistent with what I like to hear at home. I don’t like to listen to too many singers.
Then the lyrics are definitely my two mother tongues and then English, the language I speak so much. When I tour and when I read, it’s mostly English, so I’m presenting some more of mine and then it seemed normal to include three languages.
How has this particular time in your life affected writing?
Just making a family out of a family and raising two children, it certainly set me apart who I am, or want to be. While speaking Spanish with my four-year-old daughter, I think it also helped make my language easier.
What is the story behind the title of the album?
Local valley, I’m telling both of them in the song “Valley Local”, where I’m thinking of the tribes being stuck in a local valley where they can’t communicate and they can’t find this beautiful valley nearby. I don’t think people can get stuck in a tribal mentality if there seems to be a clash of cultures, alternative information, or an ideology that clashes with that. It’s a way to think about the title.
More connected to another “Vision” and “El Invento” song, where I’m thinking of humanity, again, stuck in this local valley, but this time the world and this is our Goldilocks space, both at the time and in a universe where we’ve been prosperous for some time. And how we want to continue to prosper. That Local valley, The place where we are as humanity.
Has created any special collaborators Local valley Will it happen?
Yes, of course. My girlfriend did the cover of the album. She is designing textiles. We are both Swedish textile designer Joseph Frank. Basically, we just created a mood board with his stuff and we both felt we should use inspiration from our drawings where this has a black background and then lots of leaves and animals in bright colors. I think he did an amazing job with it.
He also helped me write the current swing “Swing”. I created a version of the song in Swedish, which in some ways doesn’t really work. I was a little tired of working on that song, so I asked him, “Do you want to try rewriting it in English?” He wrote the lyrics. He wrote the part, “Swing what your mother gave you. Swing your butt like a seaweed.” [Laughs.] Then I asked him to sing this song and the song is really good to amazingly advanced.
Do you always write songs together?
No no no. That was the first time. I’m not sure it was a good idea. I try to be careful when it comes to cooperation. He did all the artwork for Junip [my band with Tobias Winterkorn] Very and my previous solo album and we always got into fights. We have different tastes. It takes longer than we initially thought, so [chuckles] It can be bad for a relationship, but once we’re done, I think it’s really great. Musically, I thought not to involve him, but he was excited and he had this amazingly really high-pitched voice that worked perfectly for that song.
Do you have favorite songs on the album?
Okay, right now it’s “swinging” because it’s so light. Similarly, I have a lot more choice than other things. I think “Vision” is probably the best song I’ve ever written, if I think about classic songs, classic song structures, chord progress and lyrics, it’s more complete than the other songs I’ve written.
“El Invento” feels the same way. “Horizon” is also a favorite. There are some songs I always try that have a constant melody and I think it has one. In many ways, I think this album deserves a better score than other albums. [Laughs.]
Looks like you can really mark your growth on this album. Do you agree
Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either. Also, I showed a little more of my music skills. With the first album, for example, I didn’t want it to break the chorus in any song. It was intentionally linear. You can talk about growth, I think now that I’ve become more open, I’m wearing different types of hats for production, such as trying to make danceable songs, some that are very dynamic, and some that are very calm and steady.
What are you most proud of? Local valley?
I’m trying to find a balance between writing deep and ambitious songs and then trying to maintain that balance with not promoting. “Vision”, again, I felt I had found that balance, but with the song “Tajomme” in Swedish, which means insult for a friend or friend. With that one I was referring to the prophets and friends on the Day of Judgment who seem to be followed by so many people all over the world. This is a sensitive issue, a sensitive issue. I think I’ve been able to write a lyric that I don’t think anyone in particular will feel [they have been]Mentioned, but at the same time I am making fun of friends on this Day of Judgment. There seems to be one for every religion, at least one. [laughs] Or ideology, so not only religion but also these individual groups seem to have emerged.