Music is My Life: Episode 065

José González on Secular Humanism, ‘Local Valley,’ and Lyrical Inspiration

​​José González used to have difficulty coming up with lyrics, but with his fourth studio album, Local Valley, he has gotten over the hump.

“I felt like with the first three albums and with the first Junip album, having writer’s block was the standard with the way that I was writing,” he says. “I could easily pick up the guitar and come up with riffs, come up with chord progressions, and even hum and have a half-finished song in half a day or a day, but the lyrics … I didn’t feel like I wanted to say anything to the world, and it was a necessary evil.”

But now that has all changed, and he is drawing inspiration from many aspects of his life, including his young daughter, and his embrace of secular humanism. José González has even switched up the contemplative style that fans have come to expect from him.

In this podcast interview, he talks about all of this, as well as his upbringing in Sweden, and the national pride of the songwriting tradition in his home country, and his roots in hardcore punk.