José González : Veneer : Out Now

October 30, 2023

”Twenty years ago, something magical happened. In the space between technology and ideology, two terms that have been fighting each other to define the days that have come since, an album appeared. A collection of songs that seemed defiantly out of place. Yet somehow these songs knew themselves. Which, thinking back on it now, better explains why their creator, a young Swedish musician called José González, felt so familiar to us so quickly.” - Zane Lowe on José González’ Veneer.

Today visionary singer-songwriter and guitarist José González has announced the release of a 20th Anniversary Deluxe version of his uncompromising, candid, game-changing debut album (2003) Veneer. It features newly remastered audio of the seminal album as well as a bonus disc, comprising 13 intimate recordings from his historic 2003 performance at Gothenburg Concert Hall. Watch “Hints” from this striking show HERE.

The 20th Anniversary Deluxe Version of Veneer will see release on limited edition double clear vinyl and digitally on October 27th, 2023. It features a hand-numbered gatefold and a 24-page booklet filled with archival photos, essays, a song-by-song guide from José and more. Pre-order it HERE

Veneer made an indelible mark in its understated, expressive brilliance and cemented José González as a meticulous sonic craftsman and songwriter of singular talent. It’s hard to believe an album recorded with the most basic equipment in a cramped Gothenburg flat could end up going platinum, not only in Sweden but also the UK, selling well over 1 million copies worldwide. It’s harder still when one acknowledges that, aside from one brief trumpet solo and the slightest hint of percussion, the record features just one hushed voice and the dexterous picking of an acoustic guitar’s nylon strings. But 2003’s Veneer was such an album, charting in several countries in the world, and eventually making Top 10 in the UK, thanks in part to its delicate, evocative cover of The Knife’s “Heartbeats”.

Amidst a period of flux in his life and coming to terms with his own rising prominence as a musician, José reflects on some of the meaning behind the album’s title: "The word 'veneer' describes the thin material used to make cheap wood look expensive, and it's also used to indicate other superficially appealing exteriors for what might otherwise seem less attractive, whether that's buildings or teeth. I chose it to refer to the feeling that things are not as they appear or are pretending to be something they aren't. Partly I was thinking about other people and how they behaved, saying things as if they were in a game or in the theatre. Nonetheless, I was also thinking of myself and my music, like I was trying to be someone I wasn't."