So this is some pretty epic and glorious stuff right here.
If Jeff Buckley went in a whole new direction and embraced the Industrial maelstrom of the late ’80’s/early ’90’s (More Pretty Hate Machine than The Downward Spiral) then the results might sound like Noah Gundersen’s White Noise.
“After All” encapsulates all of that sentiment. It’s a soaring, iconic anthem that screams to the heavens and is filled with these gorgeous sonic passages replete with synthetic-sounding string sounds and driving beats. And then there’s Gundersen’s impassioned voice that brings it all together, at times crying to the sky while at others acting as the safe narrator guiding us all along within the story.
“The Sound” almost has a Jackson Browne feel to it and that’s not a bad thing (The Eddie and the Cruisers soundtrack alone should be a blueprint for what Americana rawk should sound like)! Then the hammer drops and these gorgeously grand choruses a la Sam’s Town come at you from out of nowhere as Gundersen croons “How many times will you shit on what you’re given/How many times till you shut up and listen”.
Then there’s “Heavy Metals”…sweet jeebus! Is this a sweet song or what? Well, you can judge for yourself on September 22nd so just take my word for it for now as huge piano lines combine with processed beats to make this an easy stand out on an already phenomenal album.
And the hits keep coming.
“Number One Hit of the Summer” is just that…or it will be when it does the rounds next year. “Cocaine Sex and Alcohol (From A Basement in Los Angeles)” has a jazzy/Grace feel to it while “Bad Actors” has Gundersen sounding like the bastard offspring of Thom Yorke and Shawn Smith as it pulsates along.
Later on “Fear & Loathing” comes strumming in with all of the heart until “Sweet Talker” brings back the big beats and massive choruses complete with an unearthly falsetto by Gundersen and these lush, haunting strings. Elsewhere, “Wake Me Up I’m Drowning” builds to an immense wall of noise that will emotionally clobber listeners when coupled with Gundersen’s impassioned cries until settling into some somber intensity on “Dry Year”. By the end of White Noise listeners will notice a diverse array of tunes that lay connected through Gundersen’s soulful delivery and inspired arrangements making the album one of the most unique and memorable releases of 2017.
White Noise is out on September 22nd through Cooking Vinyl. Pre-orders are available now through various outlets, some of which are linked to here and here. Gundersen will be hitting the road this fall as well on a headlining run that includes a stop at The Sinclair on October 18th. For dates and more, click here.