If you don't immediately recognize Jose Gonzalez, you might remember his collaborations with Zero 7: "Futures," "Left Behind," "Today," and "Crosses." The latter of those is actually a cover of his own song. He also recorded a great stripped down cover of The Knife's "Heartbeats" that appeared on the television program One Tree Hill as well as a notoriously colorful Sony commercial. A few of his own songs also appeared on the now-gone The OC.
As for Gonzalez's latest album, In Our Nature, I basically love this album so much I want to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant. This elegant album is without a doubt Gonzalez's best work. The songs still feature his signature simplicity, but generally this album's sound is more confident than that of Veneer. In Our Nature is stripped down to mostly vocal melodies with classical guitar and the occasional touch of djembe, handclaps or soft synth.
For me, "Down the Line" is the song that gets me swaying the most, although his cover of Massive Attack's "Teardrop" also deserves mention because it's just really good. No surprise there. This is an album I would happily buy for my best friend or my mother alike.
[mp3] Jose Gonzalez - Down the Line or [youtube]
[mp3] Jose Gonzalez - Teardrop or [youtube]
* Buy In Our Nature