Song of the Day: Jose Gonzalez – Down The Line

Jose Gonzalez performing live on KEXP in Chicago
photo by Susana Meza

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Midday Show host Cheryl Waters, is Down The Line by Jose Gonzalez from the 2007 album In Our Nature on Mute.

Jose Gonzalez – Down The Line (MP3)

Gonzalez released his debut, Veneer, four years ago in Europe, but thanks to the delay leading up to the US release, it seems like just yesterday we were oohing and aahing over his cover of the Knife’s Heartbeats. In Our Nature picks up effortlessly where Veneer left off; the buzzing strings, slick arpeggios, and unmistakable vocal delivery create another 30-minute album of immediacy and lo-fi intensity. While almost entirely a solo classical guitar affair, some songs are a bit more fleshed out with additional percussion and backing vocals. Lyrically, Gonzalez here takes from world events, most notably war, and his recent book choices — philosophical and ethical discourses on the topics of nature vs. nurture and atheism. Having recently witnessed Gonzalez perform at the Showbox, I was taken aback by how, in a society inundated with videos, images and other stimuli, a solo guitarist is still able to captivate. It is a testament to the artist and his place among those who’ve come before him. Gonzalez has quickly become known for covering other artist’s songs, Heartbeats on Veneer and Teardrops(Massive Attack) on In Our Nature among them. Recently, The Twilight Singers, led by former Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli, covered Down The Line. Gonzalez’ MySpace page has US and Canadian tour dates covered and we’re pleased to further inundate you with this PLUG-nominated video for Down The Line:

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