If you’ve never heard of the band Junip before, you’re not alone. Fronted by renowned folk singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez, the band’s 2010 release Fields eschews his typical stripped down acoustic delivery in favor of a more rounded, almost jammy sound. Joining Gonzalez in Junip are Tobias Winterkorn on keyboards, and Elias Araya on drums.
Together, they manage to weave a sound that will be familiar to fans of Gonzalez’s solo work, but it’s definitely something more than just the Jose Gonzalez Band.
The record’s spontaneous sound gives the whole thing a “first take” sort of feel. It’s like you are standing in the room where it was recorded as the trio fills every space with a mix of funky classical guitar, mellow, vamped out drum lines, and keyboard sounds that shift from prog-space rock to hints of Ray Manzarak’s organ and electric piano.
The recording also has an overdriven tone that causes it to really buzz around the edges. And Junip decisively take it a step further as they push these overdriven tracks through reverb and delay chambers. The cumulative effect is one that creates an energy that seems to almost swirl out of the speakers, covering you with a blanket of sound as they hang out on vamps in tunes like, Always and Rope and Summit. By the time you get to the beautiful, building Without You, you'll feel how this sound almost lifts them off into space. And there is no real disappointment when they don’t go actually go there. They instead leave you to realize the beauty of the song is in the build-up itself.
Over the course of the album it is this overall tone they create that pulls you in. While some may argue that the songs start to sound very similar, there isn’t a throwaway track in the set. And as the final echoes of the closing track Tide dissipate into the depths of some unexplored cave, you will find yourself reaching for this blanket of sound again, because everyone needs a good blanket to keep them warm at night.
Check out the track Without You from Junip's album Fields below.