Sunday, December 2nd, 2007
CONTEST – Jose Gonzalez / In Our Nature
Argentinan-born, Swedish-bred nylon-string enthusiast Jose Gonzalez is about as good an argument for allowing your music to be used in commercials as there is. While it’s not to say that he wouldn’t have made made waves exclusively on his own impressive talents, there’s no denying that allowing his cover of The Knife’s “Heartbeats” to soundtrack a Sony Bravia commercial gave him the sort of exposure that you can’t put a price on. I’m not ashamed to admit that was the first place I heard his music.
And so now, a couple years on, he’s followed up his breakthrough debut Veneer with In Our Nature and, like its predecessor, it’s a skeletal, acoustic record built on hypnotic guitar figures and Gonzalez’s emotionally ambiguous vocals. The music is pretty, but curiously distant and guarded. Even though it draws you in with its sonic intimacy, it still keeps you at arms length. It’s a paradox that intrigues and frustrates me, but thankfully more of the former than the latter.
Gonzalez is currently on tour in support of In Our Nature and arrives for a trio of Canadian dates this week, including a stop at the Mod Club in Toronto on Friday, December 7. That same evening, he’s playing an in-store at Sonic Boom at Bloor and Bathurst, starting at 6:30PM.
And, since this is a contest, after all, I’ve got stuff to give away. Courtesy of Mute, I’ve got a grand prize consisting of copies of In Our Nature on both LP and CD, a signed poster and a bookmark. For marking books. And I’ve also got four runner-up prizes of autographed posters. For hanging on walls. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want the Jose Gonzalez stuff” in the subject line and your mailing address in the body. Contest will close at midnight, December 5.
Check out a live version of his cover of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop”, rearranged and properly recorded on the new record, as well as a track from Veneer and some videos from the new album. Retread has a video session and you can read an interview with Jose at Washington Square News.
MP3: Jose Gonzalez – “Teardrop” (live)
MP3: Jose Gonzalez – “Crosses”
Video: Jose Gonzalez – “Teardrop” (YouTube)
Video: Jose Gonzalez – “Down The Line” (YouTube)
Video: Jose Gonzalez – “Killing For Love” (YouTube)
Video: Jose Gonzalez EPK (YouTube)
MySpace: Jose Gonzalez