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José González Returns With 'Local Valley'

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

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.

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Ari Shapiro has been one of the hosts of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, since 2015. During his first two years on the program, listenership to All Things Considered grew at an unprecedented rate, with more people tuning in during a typical quarter-hour than any other program on the radio.
Jonaki Mehta is a producer for All Things Considered. Before ATC, she worked at Neon Hum Media where she produced a documentary series and talk show. Prior to that, Mehta was a producer at Member station KPCC and director/associate producer at Marketplace Morning Report, where she helped shape the morning's business news.
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