Much is made these days of the ‘immediacy’ of an artist. Perhaps it’s the raw power of their voice. Maybe it’s the way their lyrics make you feel like you’re peering into their soul. Sometimes it’s the interplay between the various instruments that take repeat listens to unravel each nook and cranny of their sound. Rare is the artist who is able to bring all of these variables together and snatch your attention away from whatever you were working on at the moment.
Seattle, Washington’s Noah Gundersen is just that artist. His music surprises with each track on his most recent release, the ‘Family’ EP, moving seamlessly between a visceral earnestness as evidenced in the hard-charging “Fire” to an open letter to “the ones we love” on the ballad “Garden”. Where Gundersen really stands out is on the angst-ridden opening track of “David”, where he seems to plead for something more with the lyrics “I wanna hunt like David/I wanna kill me a giant man/I wanna slay my demons/But I’ve got lots of them, I’ve got lots of them.” The hauntingly beautiful track moves along at a locomotive’s pace, forcing the listener to find their inner David to go and slay the Goliaths of the world.
As you might imagine, Biblical imagery abound throughout the seven tracks of the EP. Gundersen takes you on a journey that reaches a fitting conclusion along the way that “heaven is where we make it.” And with sister Abby in tow throughout the album on violin and providing vocal harmonies, Noah’s description of the music being about how family “lives with us, for better or worse” seems to err on the side of this pairing being very much for the better.
Noah and Abby will be joining the fantastic William Fitzsimmons on the Southeast and Southwest legs of his tour, making a stop in Nashville’s very own 3rd and Lindsley on Tuesday, February 28. I’ll be there, and I highly recommend you attend as well. In the meantime check out the lead track, “David” below.