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Album Review

Born into a musical but very religious family, Noah Gundersen didn't hear many secular songs as a child, perhaps explaining the subtle and hushed gospel intensity and sincerity he brings to his songs, which, while definitely secular, deal with themes of loss, hope, and personal redemption nonetheless. This set is his first full-length outing following a trio of EPs, and it's a quiet, mostly ballad and lament-heavy sequence that leaves a powerfully subdued and emotional residue. Aided by the presence of his younger sister Abby Gundersen, a gifted string musician who adds violin, cello, piano, and gorgeous vocal harmonies to most of these tracks, Gundersen sounds a bit like the serious narrative side of Jackson Browne if Browne had wandered into Neil Young's Harvest sessions. That's both good and not so good. The best tracks here, like the beautiful "Poor Man's Son," which opens things, and the gorgeous Tom Waits-like lullaby lament "Time Moves Quickly," which closes things, have a kind of quiet strength, a gospel sureness of better days and times, and resound powerfully. Other tracks seem overly serious, with the joy half leached out of them, as if Gundersen forgot that singing is not the same as telling, however sweet the melody and redemptive the intent. One song, "Cigarettes," is so slow that it hardly has a rhythmic pulse at all, full of long, tortured pauses and restarts, a thus stuttered love ballad that still — and this is Gundersen's odd strength — conveys a kind of desperate, restrained passion that makes it emotionally work. This is a low-key, autumnal-sounding album that impresses with its unhurried pace and thoughtful, muted sincerity. The songs sound sad but each carries hope somehow, although a little jump and joy here and there might have given this set a little more spark. Life is lived in the sunshine, too.

Customer Reviews

Powerful Poetic Treasure

I have been waiting and waiting for this album(and still waiting). Noah Gundersen and Abby have cultivated original songs that become companions to the heart and mind. From the captivating first notes of "Cigarettes" that reals you inward, to the hitchhiking rhythm of "Boathouse" this album is sure to be a powerful poetic treasure.

Long awaited

One of the best sounds out there. Honest and real music. Noah is one of a kind.

D-Mar

Mind blown. Insane tunage. Buy it now.

Biography

Born: May 31, 1989 in Olympia, WA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Pop-folk singer and songwriter Noah Gundersen was born May 31, 1989 in Olympia, Washington into an extremely religious but also very musical family that frowned on secular music, a view that he eventually abandoned. Gundersen began taking piano lessons before he was a teen, and after inheriting an electric Epiphone guitar from his father in 2002, he began tracking songs on his father's recording equipment. By the time he was 16, Gundersen was gigging in the local cafes, and in 2006 his sister, Abby,...
Full Bio
Ledges, Noah Gundersen
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Customer Ratings

Contemporaries

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