Singer-songwriter Noah Gundersen has three EPs to his name — 2008’s Brand New World, 2009’s Saints and Liars, and 2011’s Family — but the 24-year-old has yet to put out a proper full-length. That’ll change on February 11, when the Washington native releases Ledges, his debut album.
The upcoming LP was recorded in Seattle’s Studio Litho, the homebase of Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard, and was crafted with the help of Gundersen’s sister, Abby (who supplies violin, cello, and piano), and his younger brother, Jonathan, who plays drums. Ledges spans 11 tender tracks and weaves together tales of faith, temptation, redemption, death, and doubt, offering the kind of perspective usually found in much older tunesmiths.
“I’m not a religious person anymore,” says Gundersen, who grew up in a rigidly religious household. “But I’ve learned that spiritual energy transcends religion and that’s something I’ve attempted to incorporate into my music.”
He does so successfully on Ledges, which you can stream in its entirety below. Additionally, you can watch the video above, which offers an affecting look at the recording of Ledges‘ gospel-esque opener, “Poor Man’s Son.”
Here’s what Gundersen had to tell SPIN about the studio session caught on film: “My friend Nate Berends came in to the studio on our last day there. I invited some of my family up and we did one-takes of several songs from the album. We attempted three recordings of ‘Poor Man’s Son,’ but by the fourth and final take it clicked. We actually used the entire audio from that one final take, around two microphones, as the album opener. ‘Poor Man’s Son’ is a song I wrote years ago, at 18, having just moved out of my parents’ house. We’ve often played it as a live set opener over the years, so it only seemed right that we open the album with it. It is my hope that it also allows for space, breathing room, and time for the listener to settle into the record.”