Noah Gundersen may not be a household name in the indie folk scene, but it sure should be. Last year’s phenomenal “Ledges” crawled its way up into many album of the year lists. It deserved every accolade, laying bare the heart of a man in ways so straight and honest it might sound like a deposition set to acoustic guitars. That may not sound endearing, but it is. Lines such as “you remind me of cigarettes, the way I hold you in my chest, the way you kiss me, with your filter breath, I keep thinking, I’m getting over this” are delivered with a poignancy that’s rare even in this diluted genre.
It’s not all somber strumming, though. Gundersen ups the tempo for tracks like “Ledges,” which carries a strong Allison Krauss vibes in its energetic, sweeping chorus and rustic instrumentation. Counterbalancing tracks like this with slow heartbreakers sets Gundersen up with a winning formula. Whether or not he’s set to repeat this remains to be seen, but whatever route he pursues will likely be an exciting one.