ONLINE EXCLUSIVE :: In Conversation with José González

Photo by Malin Johansson
Photo by Malin Johansson

By Harrison Samphir

Since the release of his debut album, Veneer, 12 years ago, José González has remained an enduring indie-folk figure, crafting mellow yet affecting compositions on his classical guitar. Born in Gothenburg, Sweden, the 37 year-old has since released three full length solo records – his latest, Vestiges and Claws, dropped in February – several extended plays, and various other works with the Scandinavian band Junip, and London’s trip hop ensemble Zero 7.

Some might recall González for his ultra-popular covers of famous songs like The Knife’s “Heartbeats,” Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” or his more recent rendition of TLC’s “Waterfalls,” performed live on Sweden’s most popular television quiz show På spåret. Whatever the case, his vast array of successful work continues to garner critical acclaim and open the door to new creative opportunities. He wrote three original songs for the soundtrack of the film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, lent a track to a massively popular 2010 video game, and participated in experimental collaborations with orchestras from Europe to North America.

Stylus Magazine spoke to González from his home in Gothenburg about his new record, creative inspirations, and the underlying meaning of his most personal songwriting.  Continue reading “ONLINE EXCLUSIVE :: In Conversation with José González”

Hillbilly Highway – Top 5 Acts I’d Love to See Up At Birds Hill This Year


by Sheldon Birnie

With the Winnipeg Folk Festival line-up announcement scheduled for this weekend, thousands of summer craving Manitobans are itching for those five days in July. While last year’s 40th Anniversary celebraish was a snooze-fest as far as most of the line-up went, it’s always possible the head honchos were playing it safe in stacking the line-up with some old (stale? mouldy?) faves. Now that the big anniversary has passed, many feel it’s high time the Folk Fest brass does something bold in terms of lineup in exchange for charging an arm & a leg for admission. Considering a weekend camping pass now runs nearly as much as a weekend pass for a Big Time Festival like Coachella or Bonnaroo, I’ve spoken with plenty of folks who’ve given up on the whole thing, choosing instead to save a load of cash and satisfy the craving for summer camping and good tunes at one of the many backwoods parties that have sprung up across Manitoba of late. Continue reading “Hillbilly Highway – Top 5 Acts I’d Love to See Up At Birds Hill This Year”

Hillbilly Highway – Recovering from a wild week(end) at Bird’s Hill


by Sheldon Birnie

It’s that time of year again, where brain cells struggle to regrow after an onslaught of booze, chemicals, smoke, and sun. The week(end) that is Winnipeg Folk Fest failed, once again, to disappoint this festival goer. With a diverse and interesting line-up, beautiful weather, and wild & wacky times in the campground, I’m feeling exhausted and inspired once again. Continue reading “Hillbilly Highway – Recovering from a wild week(end) at Bird’s Hill”

The Good, the Bad and the Folked; Reflections on the Winnipeg Folk Festival


 by Zach Fleisher

The Good, the Bad and the Folked

One of my roles within Stylus Magazine has been to scurry around the Winnipeg Folk Festival, just to talk about it; tell the story and elaborate on my experience. With that in mind, I’m writing a couple of quick posts elaborating on what I enjoy, aspects that I didn’t like as much and…well, the more unique aspects of the Winnipeg Folk Festival. I’m not sure if this is going to be a daily kind of feature, but we’ll try to keep those in the city updated as we go.

Continue reading “The Good, the Bad and the Folked; Reflections on the Winnipeg Folk Festival”

Danny Michel brings eclectic mix to Folk Festival mainstage


by Isaac Würmann

The Caribbean waters and dense rainforests of Belize may seem like a dramatic departure from the rugged northern landscapes of Canada, but that’s exactly where Ontario-born musician Danny Michel went to record his latest album. Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me, which was recorded exclusively in Belize and features the Belizean music group the Garifuna Collective, is an equally dramatic departure from the sounds of some of Michel’s earlier albums. Continue reading “Danny Michel brings eclectic mix to Folk Festival mainstage”