If David Bazan had a long lost little brother one who also played acoustic guitars and sometimes wondered about his relationship with God and the afterlife that young man would probably sound something like Noah Gundersen. Gundersen, who hails from Centralia, echoes some of the technique that made Bazan (of Pedro the Lion fame) one of Seattle's best songwriters: calm, lilting guitar with thought-provoking lyrics sung in a steady voice. On songs like Middle of June, Gundersen questions the nature of salvation, singing "Peace is a ladder up to the clouds/ And I'm wishing I could climb but I don't know how." But Gundersen's a less pensive and less solitary musician than Bazan: He tours with his sister, Abby, who plays violin, and a band of other musicians. He's also a more direct songwriter, addressing a song to Jesus rather than penning a questioning poem about whether Jesus exists. Maybe it's a product of his youth Gundersen is young but he's still needs to master the art of nuance. But he's still ahead of the musical game, because his songs are already heartbreakingly beautiful. With Garage Voice, Karli Fairbanks, Tom Rorem. All ages. Photo courtesy Red Williamson.
Fri., June 12, 7:30 p.m., 2009