See Jose Gonzalez Go 'Walter Mitty' for Ryan Adams-Penned 'Stay Alive'

Junip troubadour channels Ben Stiller in video for bittersweet folk-pop ballad

Marc Hogan WRITTEN BY
Marc Hogan

It isn't hard to imagine José González being drawn to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Though the Swedish-Argentine singer-songwriter's level of success far outpaces that of the James Thurber short story character, González's glimpses of rock'n'roll fantasy tend to be fleeting, and from the outside: After his leftfield success covering the Knife's "Heartbeats," he offered 2007's chilling, textural In Our Nature, and since then he has meandered gracefully through two albums with kraut-folk group Junip.

Ben Stiller directs and stars in an upcoming movie version of Walter Mitty, and a centerpiece of the December 17 soundtrack (if you don't count Jack Johnson covering the piña colada song) is González's recording of Ryan Adams-written "Stay Alive." González features prominently on the soundtrack, whether with Junip or by himself, including choir-backed opener "Step Out" and similarly lush John Lennon cover "#9 Dream" (via The Wall Street Journal). This one, backed by a ticking clock, is a generous, piano-centered ballad; director Emmett Malloy's video imagines González in Mitty's milequest workaday milieu. When he sings about the new day's rise, it's with just the right balance between optimism and desperation.

00:00 00:00 No Song Selected More info
00:00 00:00
placeholder
Now Playing
  • 1 SFV Acid — And No Stress " 07:46
  • 2 Dub Thompson — No Time " 04:03
  • 3 Big Search — Game of Images " 05:02
  • 4 Trash Talk — "Cloudkicker" " 03:00
  • 5 Little Dragon — Let Go " 04:05
  • 6 BOOTS — Dreams (feat. Beyoncé) " 04:55

SPIN is a member of SPIN Music Group, a division of BUZZMEDIA