Noah Gundersen, a 26-year-old singer/songwriter from Olympia, Wash., crafted one of my favorite albums of last year in “Ledges” and he’s wasted precious little time hopping right back into the recording studio.
He builds on the strengths of “Ledges” with even-better sophomore platter “Carry the Moon.” It’s a captivating collection of 13 heartbreakingly gorgeous folk-leaning tunes that cements Gundersen’s place on my shortlist of favorite current artists.
“There’s a social and religious tendency to see ourselves as inherently broken and in need of fixing,” Gundersen says. “And this is me challenging that idea, saying, ‘Maybe we were made this way and maybe we are not actually broken and maybe it’s OK that we don’t have the answers.”
Despite the heavy themes of “Carry the Moon,” the record is immediately accessible. Gundersen has a pleasing voice and his a true wordsmith. He shines brightest here on set opener “Slow Dancer,” “Show Me the Light,” “The Difference,” “I Need a Woman,” “Empty From the Start” and “Heartbreaker” — though there are no real misfires to be found on the 56-minute release. Do yourself a favor and track down a copy of this fantastic record. You won’t regret it. (Jeffrey Sisk)