Junip, Phox, Barbarossa | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Junip, Phox, Barbarossa 

When: Sun., June 9, 8 p.m. 2013
On its self-titled second album for Mute, Swedish band Junip carries on with the gentle, kaleidoscopic folk-pop it played three years ago on Fields, after its front man, minimalist folk-pop singer Jose Gonzalez, returned to the project where he’d developed his sound in the mid-aughts. His easygoing singing, which sometimes climbs smoothly into a sweet falsetto, still reminds me of the 70s soft-rock soul of Bread’s David Gates, but his bandmates surround his acoustic-guitar arpeggios with supersaturated indie pop girded by persistent Krautrock-influenced rhythms. The tension between those two elements works as well here as it ever has for Junip, especially on those rare occasions when Gonzalez taps into his reserves of extroverted energy—most notably the soaring opener, “Line of Fire.” His lyrics often consist of quasi-philisophical cliches (his sage advice in “Walking Lightly” is “We’re all walking lightly / Let this moment last / Could be gone so fast”), so I recommend focusing on the band’s lovely, swelling sound. —Peter Margasak Phox and Barbarossa open.

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