Family

by Noah Gundersen

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about

In an era of social media and perceived self-importance, Noah Gundersen is in many ways the antithesis of his time.

Noah's newest EP, called Family, pays homage to the people who have shaped his life--rather than the self-aggrandizing so common to the often homogeneous world of singer-songwriters."Family comes in many forms," says Noah. "It lives with us, for better and for worse. It shapes us. Thats what this album is about."

Fittingly, a member of Noah's family, his sister Abby Gundersen, plays violin and sings vocal harmonies on the EP. Her soft voice and lush string accompaniments compliment beautifully what are a magnetic and emotionally charged group of songs. The two have been playing music together since Noah was 15 and Abby was 12 years old, while growing up in the Seattle area. They've also performed in the local band The Courage together. "The musical communication I've had with Abby is unlike anything I've experienced elsewhere. It's a really special thing. Having her with me makes me so much more confident in what I'm doing," says Noah. (Also, Abby recently moonlighted as a tour accompanist for acclaimed singer-songwriter Jarrod Gorbel).

The songs on Family are consistently impressive and defy genre. Whereas roots-tinged songs like "Family" conjure up shades of a solo Ryan Adams, the sweeping and etherial "Fire," bears similarities to the lush harmonic feats of Fleet Foxes. Perhaps the album's standout track is the pulsating "David," which combines the haunting darkness of Tom Waits with the lyrical angst of Neil Young. "The song is about who I want to be, while realizing who I am. I want to be less like my Father and more like my Dad."

Family, produced with Daniel Mendez, was released on August 6th, 2011. Made in just a short week in Dallas, Family is only a brief taste of what's to come from Noah Gundersen.

credits

released 06 August 2011

Recorded by Daniel Mendez. Produced by Daniel Mendez, Noah Gundersen and Abby Gundersen. Mastered by Ed Brooks.

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Track Name: David
i keep kicking at the curb with my worn out shoes
i keep running into strangers that say i know you
i don't want to be a proud man, i just want to be a man
a little less like my father and more like my dad

i want to hunt like david
i want to kill me a giant man
i want to slay my demons
but i've got lots of them, i've got lots of them


i try to keep my conscience clean
i try to keep myself out of your bad dreams
i try to wash my hands for you every night
lest you find my strangling fingers wrapped around tight


i want to hunt like david
i want to kill me a giant man
i want to slay my demons
but i've got lots of them, i've got lots of them
Track Name: Fire
i was born in a lighthouse
where my mother lay
and she wont wake for no shouting

i was raised by the water
by the crippling waves
and the gulls gave me my singing voice

when the devil came to visit me
he said son i am your enemy
fear me
but it came to my surprise
i was drawn by the fire

i set off west in the springtime
before the flowers had bloomed
and the frost and ice followed me

i met a lot of fine women
with the small of their backs
shining like the crescent moon

when the finest came to visit me
she said son i am your enemy
fear me
but it came as no surprise
i was drawn by the fire

hey
i am looking for freedom
in the wild eyes of the dancing girls
hey
i am looking for freedom
in the open arms of america

i was told to find jesus
in a stained glass church
where the light shines red like blood

but the eyes of his children
were so bitterly burned
that i could not stand to look at them

when he finally came to visit me
he was dressed in the rags of poverty

and it came as no surpass
it came as no surprise

hey
i am looking for freedom
in the wild eyes of the dancing girls
hey
i am looking for freedom
in the open arms of america
Track Name: Nashville
packed up my piano and a suitcase full of clothes
and i went looking for a better place to hide
ride across the border in a broken down sedan
with a bottle and a rifle on my mind

on and on and on and on the miles stretch for hours
the radio keeps spitting out the tunes
every other song is just another tired rhythm
another tired lover's tune

it's a long, long way back to nashville
where i come from, where i been
it's a long, long way back to nashville
but i promise i will see you again

through the ice and fog this morning the sun is coming up
i'm standing on the shores of the hudson bay
over glass fired violet, silence, silence
calling up the day

and every man is an island, an island
in his own special way
there's a white ghost out on the water, the water
with one good song and nothing else to say

it's a long, long way back to nashville
where i come from, where i been
it's a long, long way back to nashville
but i promise i will see you again
in heaven
Track Name: San Antonio Fading
oh my darling
this is getting harder
the world is growing smaller
everyday

oh my darling
your memory slowly fading
i know i keep complaining
but i'm not as strong as i was

when we were younger
back in texas
when our love was new

but it's not that the love is missing
it's just not around
it's just flowing under
like rivers underground
and if i say i love you
like you know i do
would you say you love me to
if you do, i'll keep on loving you

oh my darling
can you even remember
all the time we've spent together
all the life that we have shared

we were married
down by san antonio
on the shores of corpus christi
we spoke our vows

when we were younger
back in texas
when our love was new

but it's not that the love is missing
it's just not around
it's just flowing under
like rivers underground
and if i say i love you
like you know i do
would you say you love me to
if you do, i'll keep on loving you

oh my darling
Track Name: Honest Songs
As we gather round the table
To say a prayer for those we love
All the words that will spoken
they will never be enough

to encompass all the feelings
that our brittle hearts can bear
all the storms that rage inside us
fill our organs up with air

and the sound it makes
is an honest song
our hearts sing an honest song

All the time spend catching raindrops
all the time we spent in bed
all the hours we have wasted
we will never see again

so be good with what your given
for its all you have to give
we are only passing shadows
in a might wind

and the sound it makes
is an honest song
our hearts sing an honest song

so tho I tremble in the darkness
in the cold and freezing snow
I am grateful for winter
because the winter comes to show

that our troubles never over
and work our work is never done
but with the turning of the season
we will always see the sun

and the sound it makes
is an honest song
our hearts sing an honest song

may our hearts sing an honest song
Track Name: Garden
banks coming down
they're taking all our hard earned pay
lord giveth, but he taketh away
i pay our debts
but works getting hard to find
these are hard times

i built this house
with my own two hands
now their gonna take it and five acres of land
and all of our children
are growing up way too fast
in these hard times

but wait, oh wait
see how the morning breaks
it's the simplest of love songs, but it's all our hearts can take
and though we lose our stake
heaven is where we make it
even in the smallest places, can a garden grow

i took this job
in part as a sacrifice
for my unborn children and my beautiful wife
i always worked hard
on all of these sad estates
with no hard times

but wait, oh wait
see how the morning breaks
it's the simplest of love songs, but it's all our hearts can take
and though we lose our stake
heaven is where we make it
even in the smallest places, can a garden grow

even in the smallest places, can a garden grow
Track Name: Family
say something awful
as if fucking the world is your right
and i watch you stumble
drunk out into the night
to cat call ladies
you're thirsty for blood, you're picking a fight
and i wanted to ask you
man, what do you do in the daylight

so bum me a cigarette, buy me a beer
till i'm happy to be here, happy to be here
with all of my family, hookers in heels
and the men who watch them like hungry black eels

run into me sunday
tell me you had one hell of a time
and through the haze and the gun smoke, i'm forced to believe
you're probably right
someone lies bleeding
someone got violent and did not think twice
and i watched you my brother, making a fool of the moon tonight

so bum me a cigarette, buy me a beer
till i'm happy to be here, happy to be here
with all of my family, hookers in heels
and the men who watch them like hungry black eels

am i just a spark