Thursday, May 11, 2006

Hushed Pop on a Thursday Afternoon

NPR's Song of the Day has done it again.
Born in Sweden to Argentine parents and raised on bossa nova and Joy Division, Jose Gonzalez makes music that's haunting and ominous, yet seductively heartening. Hailed by music bloggers in much the same manner as Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Tapes 'N Tapes, the singer-songwriter has attracted praise that's significantly louder than his music.

The song of the day is "Heartbeats" (the audio of the song is available at the link above) off of the Veneer album. This song was originally by The Knife off of their Deep Cuts album. In fact, it's a very popular song for both artists. It sounds great for both artists, actually.
On "Heartbeats," Gonzalez reworks a song originally performed by the Swedish electro-pop band The Knife. It's the only cover version on his achingly intimate debut album, Veneer, which pairs Gonzalez’s acoustic-guitar work -- a style that merges classical and Brazilian techniques with the folk style of Nick Drake and Bert Jansch -- with his hushed, fragile tenor.

"We had a promise made, we were in love," Gonzalez sings with melancholy resignation. His sparse bossa-folk resonates on an intensely personal level: If it were performed in the middle of a crowd of thousands, it would still seem crafted for an audience of one.

Some other lyrics from the song...
one night to be confused
one night to speed up truth
we had a promise made
four hands and then away

both under influence
we had devine scent
to know what to say
mind is a razorblade

to call for hands of above
to lean on
wouldn't be good enough
for me, no

one night of magic rush
the start a simple touch
one night to push and scream
and then relief

Note: I think there are some slight differences from the the original lyrics.
Jose Gonzalez


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