Zion Bohlender, Staff Writer

Noah Gundersen is a name that seems to be popping up everywhere across the indie-folk music scene. The increasingly popular Washington native and singer-songwriter has released four solo EP’s and three studio albums over the span of his young career. Gundersen’s sound is distinct, recognizable, yet evolved. As his music has progressed, it’s become fuller, electronically focused, and simply more layered. The stripped down, acoustic tone heard throughout the entirety of the singer’s earlier work, “Ledges” has abruptly shifted into something of a musical masterpiece found in his most recent full length album, “WHITE NOISE.” The artist has been in the spotlight for the past few weeks after announcing the release of “WHITE NOISE B-SIDES,” an 8-song project comprised of the songs he didn’t feel fit on the original release and for that reason, left out.

Despite being, for lack of better terms, a collection of his “second choice songs,” the project has fared surprisingly well among his older, more established work. This is partially due to the fact that, after all, these songs were originally supposed to be a part of the previous collection, which would explain why they feel so familiar. Gundersen’s warm, weathered voice shines through his complex, yet ambient instrumentals. Following the precedent set in the 2017 release, “B-TAPES” is a synth heavy, intricately engineered project featuring a more spacy vocal presence than the usual from Gundersen. No track on this album lacks individuality, but all are able to maintain a consistent sound. Not merely another mainstream release, but truly a display of dynamic excellence.

Despite Gundersen’s drastic transition into a fuller sound, he has not sacrificed his lyrical finesse in any way. Each track of this project takes you through not only a musical experience, but delves into the life and mind of the artist. The listener is being told a story with every song, something that’s difficult to do while sustaining such a complex, but uniform sound. The singer takes you through relationships, life hardships, and tales that while may not always be true, are masterfully crafted.

“WHITE NOISE B-TAPES” is a perfect example of an artist’s continued evolution, creativity, and overall execution.