Before José González was José González, he played in Junip. The group formed in the late ’90s, but although González later acquired a record contract and modest fame with his solo, stripped-down version of the same stuff, Junip never completed an album. Until this year, that is: The Gothenburg-based band, whose other members are Elias Araya and Tobias Winterkorn, has finally released its debut, Fields. González’s rhythmic acoustic guitar and delicate voice are intact, backed by haunting, rainy-day jazz rock that burns slow and sometimes achieves hard-fought transcendance. Polyrythyms and bossa nova strums enliven “Always,” while loose, unhurried vocals don’t get in the way of acid-caked momentum in “Rope and Summit.” Not too many bands are channeling late ’60s jazz fusion in 2010: Luckily, Junip’s Swedish cool feels innate and unforced.
JUNIP PERFORMS WITH LOST IN THE TREES AT THE BLACK CAT, 1811 14th ST. NW. $15. (202) 667-4490.