It’s been years in the making (around 10 to be exact), but Indie Swedish-Argentinian singer José González and his band mates — Tobias Winterkorn on keyboards and Elias Araya on drums — have finally released their Junip full-length album Fields. After being sidetracked by front-man and guitarist González’s many solo projects, in particular 2003’s Veneer, and the release of two previous EPs Black Refuge and Rope and Summit, the band have pulled together for a lusty debut.
Fields appears to span the realm of music genres amalgamating faceted harmonies of world music with corpulent electronic beats, and of course Gonzalez’s trademark classic guitar and intimate vocals that always prove to be above and beyond worthy of recognition. The album is a legion of solid musical masterstrokes. “Without You” accentuates Gonzalez’s vocals while equally emphasizing hard-hitting drums and galvanizing synths. “Sweet and Bitter” and “In Every Direction” are other not-to-be-missed songs with their up-beat-meets-unconventional sound that blends beautifully, while “Always” and “Off Point” emerge as interminable in comparison to the album family.
It’s not easy to mix years of individual musical careers and contrasting genres into one cohesive album, and have it come out as a success, but Junip has. Only time will tell if they can continue to define themselves as the sui generis trio of Junip and not another side project from Gonzalez, but for now it is their sound alone that works and it works pretty darn well.