After ascending to indie rock stardom with his 2005 album, “Veneer,” Swedish singer/songwriter Jose Gonzalez will return Sept. 25 with his next Mute effort, “In Our Nature.” The 10-song album is the product of three weeks of recording in the artist’s hometown of Gothenburg.
“Almost all of the songs deal with questions of human nature — mostly the stupidness — and I’m either accusing myself or humanity as a whole for being stupid,” Gonzalez tells Billboard.com. “But almost in a humoristic way — it’s not something you might get from listening to the album.”
Gonzalez explains that when he got off tour, he spent time reading and listening to podcasts for lyrical inspiration. “I ended up following discussions on religion and ethics, and they were always referring to our time where there is a lot of war, suffering, climate change — it is difficult to avoid those things.”
Still, “In Our Nature” didn’t flow effortlessly. “I wanted to write songs but nothing happened,” Gonzalez says. “During this period I had the time to think about it; but it was hard. In November last year I developed a writing routine — I’d play guitar a couple hours each day. Whenever the songs got together, I thought as long as I was happy with them, it wouldn’t matter what people thought.”
The artist has drawn comparisons to the late Nick Drake and Elliott Smith for his bare-bones production and sparse songwriting, but “In Our Nature” finds him expanding his sound with percussion, synthesizers and the backing vocals of Yukimi Nagano. “But as the last record, it’s still very focused on guitar sounds,” he promises.
Gonzalez will spend the summer playing select dates in Europe before returning to North America this fall for a cross-country trek.