Alviso & Jose Gonzalez


Visiting Alviso

Jose Gonzalez: Vestiges & Claws Pitchfork Review

I had a pretty busy week the day I visited Alviso. I heard about this place from a close friend a couple years back that he comes here when he needs to do some thinking. I haven’t visited in a couple years and decided that since it was relatively close by, I would take a visit–and I’m happy I did.

The week I visited I was very stressed and needed some time to unwind. Whenever I’m stressed, I put on one of my favorite artists of all time, Jose Gonzalez. In the past year, he came out with a new album, Vestiges & Claws and thought I would give a harder listen.

José González - Vestiges & Claws

Vestiges & Claws came out at the beginning of the year and me, personally, it was hard to go with his new sound. When one of my favorite artists comes out with a new album I am guilty of always comparing it to older albums–when I shouldn’t. Artists need to grow and change to keep being successful. So I gave this album another try driving to Alviso and walking around.

First of all, Alviso is gorgeous. I felt so at east when visiting. I should’ve started coming here earlier in my college career when the stress of school would really get to me and needed to wind down.

Second, this album is truly phenomenal. The many sounds and instruments used make this album so intricate and unique. I hear drums, acoustic guitars, piano, maracas, shakers, wind, leaves blowing, and just so many sounds even in just one track. It’s crazy. I walked along the reeds through the stacks of window-looking houses and pictured myself somewhere else, like the end of the world. It’s hard to explain what these “houses” looked like. They were doorway entrances that lead to more reeds and down to the water.

Overall, this album is perfect for the beginning of fall. It reminds me that these are the happiest parts of the year, the holidays. But honestly, the holidays have always made me feel lonely. I’ve lost important people in my life around the holiday season and in the last couple years being away from my family, forgetting ad memories, has made me create my own memories of the holidays, and something that I’ve noticed about the holidays is music is so important to me in those times. All of Jose Gonzalez’s albums have been important to me in these times and I am honored to say that Vestiges & Claws will be a great addition to musical ballads I listen to in the fall time and for the holidays.




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