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Noah Gundersen — Ledges [2014]

 Noah Gundersen — Ledges [February 11, 2014]

USA Flag             Noah Gundersen — Ledges
   Seattle-based singer and songwriter whose songs combine hushed gospel intensity with Fleet Foxes-like neo-folk.
Born: May 31, 1989 in Olympia, Washington
Location: Seattle, Washington
Album release: February 11, 2014
Record Label: Dualtone Music Group
Duration:     45:20
Tracks:
01. Poor Man's Son      (5:14)
02. Boathouse      (3:37)
03. Isaiah      (3:04)
04. Separator      (3:29)
05. Ledges      (4:19)
06. Poison Vine      (4:45)
07. First Defeat      (4:04)
08. Cigarettes      (5:41)
09. Liberator      (4:01)
10. Dying Now      (4:04)
11. Time Moves Quickly      (3:02)
2014 Noah Gundersen Music. Under exclusive license to Dualtone Music Group, Inc
Credits:
Ed Brooks  Mastering
Jordan Butcher  Art Direction, Design
Abby Gundersen  Cello, Piano, Producer, Violin, Vocals
Elizabeth Gundersen  Vocals
Jonathan Gundersen  Drums, Vocals
Noah Gundersen  Bass, Composer, Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Producer, Vocals
Dana Nielsen  Mixing
Floyd Reitsma  Engineer
Awards:
Billboard Albums:
2014 Ledges  The Billboard 200       #100
2014 Ledges  Top Independent Albums       #16
2014 Ledges  Top Rock Albums       #22
Spiritual but not religious songs from a young Seattle veteran.
   "At the tender age of 24, Noah Gundersen is already a young veteran who recorded his first album on his dad's Tascam Studio 8 reel-to-reel home tape machine at 13. Born in the tiny town of Centralia, WA, Gundersen has honed his craft through a series of albums, both solo (with his sister Abby, an expert string player) and with their band The Courage. He's already placed songs on TV shows like Sons of Anarchy, Vampire Diaries and One Tree Hill. His latest album, Ledges, self-produced and recorded at Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard's Studio Litho in Seattle will be released February 11th, 2014. Represents the latest stop in a journey that began in his strictly conservative, religious home growing up, where he was strictly forbidden to listen to secular music.    Instead he grew up listening to Bob Dylan’s gospel albums, along with Christian artists such as Keith Green, Larry Norman, and Rich Mullins. “I’m not a religious person anymore, but I’ve learned that spiritual energy transcends religion and that’s something I’ve attempted to incorporate into my music,” Noah explains. An impressive personal work, Ledges co-mingles the sensual and the sexual with the spiritual, often using religious and biblical imagery, much like Leonard Cohen, to plumb the depths of everyday emotions and feelings."
   Un premier album a découvrir.
Review by Steve Leggett;  Score: ***½
   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.
Website: http://noahgundersenmusic.com/
MySpace: https://myspace.com/noahgundersen
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/noahgundersen
Twitter: https://twitter.com/noahgundersen
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noahgundersenmusic
Bandcamp: http://noahgundersen.bandcamp.com/
Agent: Brian Jonas/Highroad Touring: brian@highroadtouring.com
The Courage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Courage
Discography:
Solo work:
   Brand New World (EP, 2008)
   Saints & Liars (EP, 2009)
   B-Sides (EP, 2011), contained only one song titled "Avalanche"
   Family (EP, 2011)
   Ledges (full-length, 2014)
Beneath Oceans:
   2007 demo (unreleased, 2007)
1. "The Fisher"
2. "The Weight of Water"
3. "Three Seasons"
4. "Cuts in the Tongues of Plenty"
5. "The Happening"
6. "Look Upon My Works Ye Mighty"
The Courage:
   Live at the Triple Door (live album as Noah Gundersen and the Courage, 2008)
   Fearful Bones (full-length, 2010)
   We Love This Comp, Vol. One (compilation, 2011), contributed with the song "All You Know"
Collaborations:
   Sons of Anarchy: Songs of Anarchy Vol. 2 (compilation, 2012)
contributed with the song "He Got Away" (as Noah Gundersen & The Forest Rangers)
   Zach Fleury's Be Still, Neverland, Egypt (full-length, 2012)
featured in the songs "Sophie Sleepless" and "Captain Tempest"
   Le Wrens' Don't Forget Me (EP, 2013), production and acoustic guitar
   Sons of Anarchy: Songs of Anarchy, Vol. 3 (compilation, 2013)
contributed with the songs "As Tears Go By" and "Day Is Gone" (as Noah Gundersen & The Forest Rangers)
   Ben Fisher's Charleston (full-length, 2014), production and electric guitar
he also provided vocals for "Sailing to Philadelphia (Mark Knopfler cover)", a b-side from the album
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Noah Gundersen — Ledges [2014]

 

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