Track by Track through Noah Gundersen’s “Ledges”
At 24 years old, Noah Gundersen is a songwriter not unlike many others, but so far ahead of the game. And his debut release has cemented himself as one of the great songwriters of our day.
Ledges is a collection of stories. Every song is a song that stands alone, but perfectly complements the surrounding environment. Ledges is that somber breeze that brushes your face in the morning and tells you that you’re going to have a splendid day and then makes you breakfast. It’s the appealing and equally horrifying moment when you confront that significant other to expulse your vibes and emotions on them. It deals with heartbreak, regret and most of all, growing up.
Ledges starts with “Poor Man’s Son” which becomes the anthem of the whole album, recorded in one take, it has an incredibly raw and unadulterated emotion that comes with it.
Immediately after, “Boathouse” takes on a relatively larger feel with a full band. Filled with passion, Noah finally understands the heaviness that a person can feel when dealing with relationships and not being good enough.
“Isaiah” follows shortly after with a more sensitive story about indulging in one another, which while beautiful can come from much darker origins that may weigh one’s heart.
“Separator” is much more cryptic and poetic that appears to be more of what you make it than a “this is what it is” kind of song. Still equally as powerful, but sometimes you have to make your own meaning.
The album then comes to the title track, which is the dynamic climax of the album; it is easily the biggest and most relatable song on the album. It’s subject resonates throughout the entire album with the lines, “trying to be a better man, for you” and “I wanna learn how to love.”
Media via Noah Gunderson YouTube channel.
“Poison Vine” is a song that grows, which is implied by the title. It tells of everyday life, everyday heartbreak, of things that grow and poison.
“First Defeat” is a song about defeat, but trying not to give into those things. Overcoming and fighting back, but continually failing. Telling ourselves “this will be the last time” doesn’t always work out like we want it to.
“Cigarettes” is a comparison of cigarettes to love. Comparisons to the physical, emotional and mental sides of getting over a long time love.
With “Liberator,” Noah taps into his inner teenage boy. Serenading about the complications of a relationship that never wanted become anything more than a night. He is trying to convince himself that she is no longer on her mind, “I’m not thinking of you. I don’t even want to.”
“Dying Now” is the most reminiscent song on the album. Noah proclaims that he has spent time and has had many experiences. He’s learned a lot, but all things must come to an end. Because “[Noah’s] done a lot of living, but I’m dying now.”
And to finish up, “Time Moves Quickly” lets the listener realize that there is not time enough in the world and no one can truly keep up, sooner or later you realize things about your life that snuck up on you and gave you no time to react. Easily the softest song on the album and the only way to follow it up is with perfect silence.
While not a musically complicated album, Ledges is an album that knows exactly what it is going for and achieves it with great success and execution. The lyrics and musicality perfectly compliment each other in the sweetest way.
Noah Gundersen is for the person that loves to think, reminisce and contemplate what they have done with their life. If you’ve made mistakes, if family is important to you or you’re in need of some soul in your life, Noah Gundersen’s Ledges would make a perfect addition to your music library.
Below is an interview with Logan Welliver, the author of this article, about his opinion of Noah Gundersen’s life and music.
Media by Stephen Hillrich.