Junip, 'Fields' (Mute)

7
Fields
Critical Mass
Label: mute

by Josh Modell

José González's usual mode -- hushed, pretty, acoustic, melancholy -- gets goosed by krautrock ghosts in this side-project trio. Fleshed out with sinister synths and laid-back drums, the Swedish folkie's songs breathe and groove like never before. That's not always a good thing. "Sweet & Bitter" loses its focus in dusky slink, and "Tide" builds toward nothing much at all. But when the band's fluid undercurrents mesh with González's acoustic guitar and half-whispered words -- the Sea & Cake–like "Always," the sexily insistent "Howl" -- it's just as exhilarating as his gorgeous solo work.

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