After José González’s parents fled from Argentina at the beginning of a military junta known as the “Dirty War,” they ended up in Gothenburg, Sweden. This was the birthplace of González as an uplifting songwriter, where he grew up listening to artists like Bob Marley and Michael Jackson. González began his performance career with a hardcore punk band named Back Against The Wall and began performing around the ripe age of 17. After ending his time with this band, González took on a very new sound.
With his new indie folk sound, González released his debut single in June 2003. This was discovered by Joakim Gävert, co-founder of Imperial Recordings. González was signed as the label’s first official artist. In October 2003, González released his debut album in Europe, titled Veneer. This album had tracks like “Heartbeats,” which climbed the charts right away, and led to the creation of his platform and unique sound. One amazing thing about José González is that he was creating all of this art alongside working on a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Gothenburg. He eventually put the work for his degree on hold, and has been growing as an artist ever since.
After a lot of home recording and producing, González released his next studio album In Our Nature. This album sounded a lot more developed, and still featured his wonderful, room-filling sound. González garnered attention in North America in 2013 when the producers of the soundtrack for Ben Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” featured two of his songs. Some of my favorite tracks of his, “Stay Alive” and “Step Out,” were featured in this movie. Along with the movie collaborations, González plays with the Swedish folk rock band Junip, who were also featured on the “Walter Mitty” soundtrack.
Most recently, González released his first album in seven years, Vestiges & Claws. on Feb. 17, and González began his tour of North America shortly after. Tickets may be sold out online for González’s Saturday show at the Majestic Theatre, but you can always look to Craigslist and other sites to try and grab tickets. Do your best to make it to this show, because you won’t regret it.
José González will be playing at the Majestic Theatre Saturday, April 18, with special guest Ólöf Arnalds. Doors will open at 9 p.m.