Album Review: Vestiges and Claws–José González

Review by Sean Lynch

RIYL: Paul Simon, Ben Howard, Iron & Wine

Recommended Tracks: “Open Book”, “With The Ink of a Ghost,” “Afterglow”

Where in the world has José González been? After eight years, González has finally made another solo project with the release of Vestiges and Claws. The Swedish singer has been focusing more on Junip after his solo career started in 2003. Vestiges and Claws shows a finer-tuned version of González and the progression that he has gone through as a solo artist. The one thing that we know that has stayed consistent through all the changes is the great folk tunes that González plays.

“Afterglow” was one of the longer songs on the tracklist, but provides an interesting feel. The backing vocals are frightening because of the whispering of both González and the backing vocalists. The song is fueled by an army of handclaps and taps which helps make the song seem more like it was made by a band rather than just González.

“With The Ink of a Ghost” is a relaxing song. The guitar fluxuates between a gentle strumming and rapid picking. The guitar is quite angelic, and the sound quality is almost similar to the harp. The singing still has a lightness to it, but it is lighter than most of the other songs on the album because of the higher tones that González hits.

Vestiges and Claws is a thought-provoking piece. Coming into the piece, you expect just music, but it expands on a larger intellectual level. The album questions many of the things we think about in the world on top of giving us music. Vestiges and Claws serves as a welcome back from González. González has matured his craft through the music that he has created while he put his solo career on hold, and it shows through Vestiges and Claws. If you are looking to connect to a piece of music on a deeper level, then prepare your ears for Vestiges and Claws.


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