José González Returns With 'Local Valley' The singer-songwriter, renowned for his hushed work, looked to his surroundings for inspiration on his new album, Local Valley.

José González Returns With 'Local Valley'

José González Returns With 'Local Valley'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1037357986/1038032219" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Folk singer, songwriter and guitarist José González released his fourth studio album, Local Valley, on Sept. 17. Peter Toggeth / Mikel Cee Karlsson/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Peter Toggeth / Mikel Cee Karlsson/Courtesy of the artist

Folk singer, songwriter and guitarist José González released his fourth studio album, Local Valley, on Sept. 17.

Peter Toggeth / Mikel Cee Karlsson/Courtesy of the artist

When indie folk star José González arrived at the time to create his latest album, Local Valley, he reached for – what else – local sounds: "I took an evening, set up the stereo mic and recorded an hour of just bird songs," González says in an interview with NPR's Ari shaprio. Aside from his costars, the singer-songwriter recorded the record in the same mode, at his home studio outside of Gothenburg, Sweden, where he lives near the coast in a forest of birch and pine.

It's the first project where Gonzalez sings in English, Spanish and Swedish. González, whose parents are from Argentina and was born in Sweden, says he started writing in English as a teenager and became accustomed to it. "It was almost like a shield from my emotions. I could hide behind metaphors," he says. But, now, as an adult and a new father, he's ready to put all of himself, and his feelings, into his art. "I think becoming a dad, you have less things to feel awkward about, you don't have time for that. I also felt the urge to be a more varied artist and sort of show more of myself on an album."

Listen to Ari Shapiro's interview with José González in the audio player above, and stream González's latest album below.