By Adam Deane
VANCOUVER – Don’t you hate it when you’re walking down an alley in a city in the middle of your tour in support of your third successful album, and a stranger mistakes you for Jonny Depp? Who hasn’t been there? Am I right?
Alright, so none of us have been there. Probably because we don’t own the looks, style or vocals that Noah Gundersen humbly possesses. Evolution has blessed this man over and over again. You can almost follow the ebbs and flows of his career through his album art. Babies, snow-covered rooftops, a black and white side-profile and his most recent LP, White Noise – a boa constrictor wrapped around a flower pot.
So, what’s changed? Gundersen seems to have found comfort in his art, in himself. “No one really knows what the f*ck they are doing. Music is the only thing I ever really wanted to do. Ultimately, when you make something and put it out into the world, it’s not really yours anymore; in kind of the best way. I feel like I can listen to (White Noise) now and appreciate it for what it is, instead of being nit-picky. Knowing that we spent so much time on it alleviates the second-guessing and fears we had about it in the past.”
If you’ve followed Gundersen’s career at all, you’d know this album is a far-cry from his silky singer-songwriter roots. He admits to being ultra-competitive, although the growth and maturity that emanates from White Noise stems more from never really fitting in to any category and observing the weird and entertaining world outside. “This is an industry full of lost-boys. There is a form of healthy-competition that happens within music scenes where people push each other to grow. If I have a friend that puts out a great record that’s really kick-ass, I say ‘okay I’ve got to make something better than this,’ though I want everyone to succeed.”
Having gained a solid pair of legs the day it was released, White Noise has now been out for a month and tracks like “Bad Desire,” “The Sound” and “After All” have been satiating the ears of anyone with a taste for painfully honest lyrics, moving-melodies and an active-awareness for the unnerving place we call home. With a writing process that involves long-bike rides around lakes, copious amounts of coffee, and dangerous levels of self-exploration in a city known for being grey – White Noise will knock you off your feet, pick you back up, console you, and offer you a temporary retreat from reality – completely worth the $15 you’d otherwise spend riding your bike around the Lake to get coffee.
Noah Gundersen performs at the Imperial on November 12.Imperial Theatre, noah gundersen