José González‘s first album in six years, Local Valley, is due out September 17 via Mute, and he’s just shared another single from it, “Head On,” which you can watch the video for below. “I wrote it as a combat song or a list of instructions…a manual,” José says. “I mean both ‘straight ahead’ and head ON – as in switching on your mind. It was inspired by Fela Kuti’s ‘Zombie’ and the way I used to write lyrics for my hardcore band.”
Cee Karlsson, who directed the accompanying video, says, “The animations for ‘Head On’ are based on a cellular automaton called ‘Game of Life’ created by mathematician John Horton Conway. ’Game of Life’ has emergent properties, meaning that complex forms can arise, or evolve, through simple individual parts. Without any designer, plan or intent. In the video, we used visuals from ‘Game of Life’ as an analogy for the flow of information; bits of information forming patterns. Adapting. Evolving. Mutating. Like memes, or mind viruses; positive, neutral or negative. Traveling from mind to mind in a never-ending war of ideas that we all participate in and are influenced by.”
José is headed out on tour with Rufus Wainwright in September in support of the album, but before those dates begin, he has a special interactive livestream happening Thursday, June 10 at 3 PM ET. It’s a show and conversation called “Up Close & Personal,” and it streams from the Botanical Gardens in his hometown of Gothenburg. Attendees will be able to switch camera angles, ask questions, make requests, and see José perform songs from all his albums, including the new one. Tickets are on sale now, and those who get tickets will also be able to stream the first show in the Local Valley tour on September 12.