José González – “Head On”

Olle Kirchmeier

José González – “Head On”

Olle Kirchmeier

In September, the Swedish singer-songwriter José González will release Local Valley, his first album in more than six years. González recorded the LP in his home studio outside Gothenburg during quarantine. On the album, he sings in English, Swedish, and Spanish. We’ve already heard the early tracks “El Invento” and “Visions.” Today, González has shared a new one called “Head On.”

“Head On” is not a Jesus And Mary Chain cover — or, for that matter, a cover of the Pixies’ Jesus And Mary Chain cover. Instead, it’s a hushed but propulsive acoustic song, with González playing intricate acoustic guitar over a straightforward four-four beat. The song has a video from director Mikel Cee Karlsson, and while González appears in the clip, it mostly follows the progress of fractal pixelated lights around the walls and floors of a dark house. Check it out below.

In a press release, González says:

I wrote “Head On” as a combat song or a list of instructions…a manual. I mean both “straight ahead” and head ON — as in switching on your mind. It was inspired by Fela Kuti’s “Zombie” and the way I used to write lyrics for my hardcore band. It’s also in the vein of my song “What Will” from 2015. That one and this one are both anti-dogma, pro-reason songs. Some of the terms I use, like “rent seeker” or “value extractor,” are from books on economics that I’ve been reading, like The Value Of Everything by Mariana Mazzucato.

Local Valley is out 9/17 on Mute.

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