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For a musician just a few years shy of 30, Noah Gundersen displays a remarkable sense of self-awareness. He’s not really an “old soul,” so to speak—but someone who conveys a keen sort of cognizance of himself in the way one does when the act of questioning belief, of questioning the world around him, has been ingrained from childhood.
Gundersen is the product of a lifetime of pushing boundaries and learning to craft his own perspective. His parents, although devoutly religious, encouraged a questioning of dogma and church hierarchy. They also instilled in him a love of music from an early age. Along with starting Noah on piano at age nine, Noah’s father taught him melody and tracked songs to a reel-to-reel tape recorder while Noah was growing up. Consequently, Noah started writing and recording himself at age 13, diving headlong into music, forming and leading bands, involving himself in the small but vibrant hardcore scene of Centralia, Washington, and writing prolifically all the while. After quitting his day job at 18 and spending a year living out of his car and on couches, playing small bars and coffee shops, Noah began to build a dedicated following and garner interest from the music industry.
Noah’s canon of albums and EPs delineates a clear path of growth from past works like his Family EP and his full-lengths Ledges and Carry the Ghost. Family, released in 2011, proved to be the endeavor that gained Noah’s songwriting skills acclaim on the national stage—the title track was featured on the TV shows Sons of Anarchy and The Vampire Diaries, while the song “David” was featured on the show The Following. Noah was also nominated for an Emmy for co-writing the tune “Day is Gone” for Sons of Anarchy. And recently, he’s opened up for internationally acclaimed, genre-spanning artists like Emmylou Harris, Beck, City & Colour, and Josh Ritter.
His later LPs, Ledges and Carry the Ghost, were both self-produced and represent the budding efforts of a musician coming into his own. Ledges was hailed by PopMatters as “fearless and arresting…a record with much broader appeal than its genre tags.” Carry the Ghost, which came out shortly after Ledges, was Noah’s first foray into recording a full band, one of the many steps in arriving at White Noise, which, with its wall-of-sound production style and notably mature, almost world-weary lyrical motifs and musings on modern-day culture, represents the culmination of Noah’s writing and production efforts. Even Magnet Magazine took notice in Noah’s new direction on Carry The Ghost, noting that it “has a darker, somehow even more melancholy vibe that brings Gundersen’s fragile songwriting even closer to Jeff Buckley’s.”
After an intense songwriting and production process, Gundersen’s newest musical offering comes with the release of the first single off White Noise, “The Sound,” July 10th via Apple Music and Spotify. White Noise is available through Cooking Vinyl on September 22nd.