Swedish artist José González has announced that he will be releasing Local Valley, his first new album in five years. This is the first full-length work from González since 2015’s Vestiges & Claws. The album arrives Sept. 17 via Mute, and its second track “Visions” premieres today (April 14).
Prior to the album announcement, its leading track “El Invento” was released last month and is the only song to date put out by the singer in Spanish. With this addition, Local Valley will be a trilingual album also featuring songs in English and Swedish.
“Visions,” like the rest of González’s releases, nurtures a sense of comfort with its light and effusive sweetness. The singer builds an atmosphere of serenity with warm folk guitar, otherworldly layered harmonies and philosophical lyrics: “Look at the magic of reality / While accepting with all honesty / That we can’t know for sure what’s next / No we can’t know for sure what’s next / But that we’re in this together.”
González elaborated on the creation of “Visions” in a statement:
We are the apes that are starting to understand the universe and our place in it. We are changing our surroundings in an exceedingly rapid pace, so much that we’re becoming stewards of our planet whether we like it or not. As Stewart Brand said, “We are as gods and we have to get good at it.” The lyrics came to me in early February 2020 just as there were more and more tweets about the possible pandemic. The topic of the song felt very timely. You can hear the birds and ambient sounds from the veranda, along with a layer of synth loops in the background.
Preorders of the album will provide fans with registration for the artist’s upcoming tour dates, set for later this year. The tour will follow his upcoming performance for National Geographic’s virtual Earth Day Celebration on April 21.
Listen to “Visions,” and revisit a performance by González from 2009 courtesy of the Paste archives, below. Keep scrolling to check out the Local Valley album artwork and tracklist. You can preorder the album here.
Local Valley Album Artwork:
Local Valley Tracklist:
01. El Invento
03. The Void
05. Head On
06. Valle Local
07. Lasso ln
08. Lilla G
11. Line of Fire
12. En Stund Pa Jorden
13. Honey Honey