Fields [CD]

By Junip

Jewel Box Release

01. In Every Direction
02. Always
03. Rope & Summit
04. Without You
05. It's Alright
06. Howl
07. Sweet & Bitter
08. Don't Let It Pass
09. Off Point
10. Faded The Grain
11. Tide

Junip is a three piece from Gothenburg whose cosmopolitan line-up features Tobias Winterkorn (keyboards), Elias Araya (drums) and Jose Gonzalez (vocals & guitar). You’ll be familiar with the latter from his solo work, but Junip have existed since 1999, maybe even 1998. It’s so long, frankly, that none of them are quite sure. “FIELDS”, however, is the album that they’ve been itching to make ever since.

The story that leads to its 2010 release is one of patience and perfectionism, frustration and persistence, sheer bloody-mindedness, inspiration and success. The place to which it takes you, however, is one of pastoral contemplation, autumnal grace and inscrutable, haunting serenity.

“FIELDS” proves that every second of its protracted gestation has been worth the wait. From the galloping simplicity of ‘Off Point’ to the gentle summer breeze of ‘Always’, from the light-as-a-feather deftness of ‘It’s Alright’ to the blissful melancholy of ‘Tide’, it’s a heady and seductive brew, defined by the warmth of Winterkorn’s keyboards, Araya’s subtly insistent rhythms and Gonzalez’ distinctive, softly-sung tones and enigmatic lyricism. Its modesty belies its attention to detail as well as its defiantly not-of-this-time and not-of-this-world atmosphere. It’s hardly surprising that Gonzalez was so eager to return from the lonely world of the solo artist to immerse himself once again in what Winterkorn calls “the Junipsphere”, but it’s equally obvious why his band mates waited so long. Ten years in the making, “FIELDS” is an almost impossibly perfect debut album that proves good things always come to those who wait…