Noah Gundersen, Ledges (Feb. 11, self-released, noahgundersenmusic.com)
Though his voice bears a striking resemblance to Ryan Adams’, Gunderson shares other traits with the North Carolina–born alternative-country star. For instance, both led bands before issuing impressive solo full-lengths: Adams with Heartbreaker and Gundersen here with Ledges. The former singer for The Courage, Gundersen imbues his songs with a wisdom that belies his 24 years. “I was never much younger,” he sings on “Poor Man’s Son,” the opener, “but I feel twice as old”—and it shows. The first half of the song is a cappella, establishing the record’s intimate mood. As a kid, the Centralia-born musician was forbidden from hearing secular music, and there’s a hymnal quality to Ledges, which is heavy on religious imagery but feels more spiritual than religious, even if it boasts a song called “Isaiah.” It’s a beautiful, delicate, and introspective record, sparsely produced by Gundersen and his sister Abby, with each of the instruments played by a Gundersen, either Noah himself or one his multitalented siblings. A confident debut.