Noah Gundersen (born May 31, 1989 in Olympia, Washington) is an American singer-songwriter from Seattle, Washington. He is currently working as a solo act, but has been the lead vocalist for the bands Beneath Oceans and The Courage (formerly known as Noah Gundersen & the Courage). As a solo artist, he has released three EPs and will be releasing his debut full-length studio album titled Ledges on February 11, 2014.
Early career and Brand New World (2005-2008)
Gundersen began playing music when he was 10 or 11 years old when his parents had him take piano lessons. In 2002, he inherited his first guitar, an electric Epiphone, from his father and taught himself to play the guitar and recorded songs with his father's recording equipment. Three years later, his birthday gift was an acoustic guitar with which he still performs with today. Around the age of 16, Gundersen was performing solo in local cafes. His sister Abby began to accompany him with violin and harmonies in 2006. Gundersen began playing shows throughout the Washington/Oregon region with a backing band named The Courage.
His first band was a post-hardcore group called Beneath Oceans. The band was formed in 2007 and, while they were active, played shows throughout the West Coast and recorded an unreleased EP. At the end of 2008, with the departure of Keelan O'Hara, Gundersen announced that the band was done.
His first solo release, Brand New World (recorded by himself, Abby Gundersen and Michael Porter), was recorded in Eugene, Oregon in a home studio. It began to be sold on the internet in 2008.
Live at the Triple Door and Saints & Liars (2008-2009)
In mid-2008, Gundersen and the Courage released a live album titled Live at the Triple Door. This was the band's first album and was released independently as they toured throughout the west coast. In May, Noah and Abby Gundersen made another western tour with Garage Voice and Tom Rorem, an ensuing two-month tour alongside Chelsea Seth of Paper Mache occurred that August. On October 9, The Courage played a show at The Q Cafe to release Gundersen's newest EP, "Saints & Liars". Paige Richmond, a Seattle Weekly reporter attending the show gave the band's performance and new EP an outstanding review, titling the review "Noah Gundersen Brings Q Cafe Crowd to Its Feet" As winter set in, the band became stationary while Abby began to pursue her college education and the other three set out finding other jobs. Gundersen & the Courage continues to rehearse and play shows in the WA/OR area at venues such as The Round and the Triple Door, while staying less active.
Fearful Bones (2009-2011)
On January 11, 2009, Gundersen played live for 45 minutes on KCDA during the "Local Lounge". He performed the songs "Poor Man's Son", "The Ocean", and "No Fairness" and aired the songs "America", "Nine Pound Hammer", "Current State of Things", and "Oh, Momma". In November 2009, after two years of near-constant touring, Gundersen moved from Centralia to Seattle. For a few months, he couch-surfed and worked at a tanning salon in Redmond until finding a house and a job at Guitarville in Shoreline.
The Courage announced through their new website, as well as with an interview with Seattle Weekly, that their first full-length album would be released in the summer of 2010. The album, according to Seattle Weekly, marks a transition in the band as the group moved from a singer-songwriter led band fronted by Gundersen (one that frequented solo acoustic songs) to a functioning unit that creates songs that incorporate the entire band. Gundersen considered removing his name from the band's title.
Recording for The Courage's studio album began on March 16 of 2010. The band announced their progress with several updates through their Twitter account revealing that on the 27th of March, they had finished recording the album and in early July, they had started mixing the album. By the beginning of August 2010, recording, production, and mixing for the new album had been completed in a barn in Sisters, Oregon. On August 3, the band announced the change of their title as well as the name of their debut album via their Twitter page,
“ The name of this band is The Courage. Our new CD is titled 'Fearful Bones' ”
A new song, "Frequency," was streamed for free off of their official website in the beginning of September. On September 11, The Courage played a release show for Fearful Bones and followed up with a three-week tour of the West Coast with the album's producer, Matt Lee, playing lead guitar.
Family and Ledges (since 2011)
The Courage broke up some time after the release of their album and Gundersen returned to work on his solo work. On August 6, 2011, Gundersen released his third self-released EP, Family, that has been called "genre-defying"[by whom?] and at times reminiscent of Ryan Adams, Fleet Foxes, Tom Waits and Neil Young. Some songs of this EP were used on the television series Sons of Anarchy. He also collaborated with The Forest Rangers recording new songs for the show. In an interview, Gundersen said that his next work will be his debut full-length album.
He spent the next years writing songs for his album and collaborating with other musicians. On May 3, 2013, Le Wrens debut EP Don't Forget Me was released. Le Wrens features Elizabeth, Jonathan and Abigail Gundersen (Noah's siblings) as well as Noah Gundersen on guitar and production. Also, he produced Ben Fisher's album Charleston which will be released on February 4, 2014.
Gundersen announced that he has completed his album, which will be released on February 11, 2014 under the name Ledges. Rocks & Valleys, a free sampler, was given away at NoiseTrade.com in December. This sampler contained songs from Saints & Liars, Family and two new songs from his upcoming debut album Ledges, "Boat House" and "Cigarettes".