Judging albums by their cover

Jose Gonzalez: Veneer

Veneer is the debut album by Swedish singer/songwriter Jose Gonzalez, like Nick Drake before him, it is seemingly impossible to listen to his music ‘loud’. Veneer’s sparse soundscape is a showcase of Gonzalez’s hushed, double tracked vocals, haunting imagery rich lyrics and acoustic guitar virtuosity.

Just as the music is stripped back to the bare essentials of voice, guitar and occasional percussion, the cd package aesthetics are similarly kept to a minimum, giving you a good idea of what to expect when you listen to the album. A single colour on a beige uncoated paper stock throughout, is punctuated within by ethereal, whimsical illustrations, the cover in particular brings to mind an almost ‘folk art’ interpretation of the topographic like line work on the cover of Joy Division’s ‘Unknown Pleasures’ album. I particularly like the bizarre horse/accordion?/fetus illustration on the inside of the CD tray, tucked behind a solid black disk, almost as an after thought, an endearing discovery when you lift the cd out.

This is great music to work/create to, or simply drift off to sleep at night to. It’s difficult to craft an album of just voice and guitar and keep it fresh and interesting, as it is to craft a cd package with similar restrictions. An involving combination of soft music and soft design.

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