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—about midway between Portland and Seattle—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 (the title track from his 2011 solo album Family, “David” and “He Got Away,” a track he sang written by the show’s creator Kurt Sutter and music supervisor Bob Thiele Jr.), Vampire Diaries (“Family”) and One Tree Hill (“Middle of June” from his 2009 EP Saints and Liars).
His latest album, Ledges, self-produced and recorded at Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard’s Studio Litho in Seattle, represents the latest stop in a journey which 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 like Leonard Cohen to plumb the depths of everyday emotions and feelings. The album explores doubt and faith, sin and redemption, mortality and transcendence in 11 songs that get underneath the skin and cut to the heart.