Zu weit, so bekannt (und am Ende doch kaum übertrieben): Gäbe es einen Preis für Deutschlands inoffiziellen Noah Gundersen-Fanboy-Blog, ANEWFRIEND hätte am Schluss des Abends recht gute Chancen, die Trophäe mit ins heimische Nest zu nehmen…
Und wer noch immer – schließlich lege ich euch den 30-jährigen US-Musiker bereits recht kontinuierlich seit 2014 und dem Debütwerk „Ledges“ wärmstens ans Hörerherz (und werde auch in Zukunft keinesfalls davon absehen) – von bloßer Schwärmerei ausgeht, der hat bis heute wohl keines der drei Solo-Alben des vielseitigen Singer/Songwriters aus Seattle, Washington gehört. Und bekommt nun eine weitere Chance…
Denn Noah Gundersen hat für den 23. August Album Nummer vier angekündigt: Dieses wird den Titel „Lover“ tragen (ein netter Spaß am Rande dürfte sein, dass eine gewisse Taylor Swift für den selben Tag ein neues Werk selben Titels angekündigt hat) und – laut Gundersen – weitaus „introspektiver“ ausfallen als noch der 2017 erschiene Vorgänger „WHITE NOISE„. Wird das was? Nun, schenkt man der ersten, einmal mehr herzzerreißenden Single „Robin Williams“ Glauben, welche nach ebenjenem Weltklasse-Comedian und -Schauspieler, der sich im August 2014 das Leben genommen hatte, benannt ist und in der Noah Gundersen die Erinnerung an Williams mit einer gewohnt großartigen Meditation über die Endlichkeit von allem sowie die Frage nach dem Sinn des Lebens und der Kunst verknüpft, könnten die 13 Stücke von „Lover“ genau an jener Herzschnittstelle andocken, der bereits ein Großteil des Debütalbums sowie einige Songs der nachfolgenden „Carry The Ghost“ und „WHITE NOISE“ (wie etwa „Heartbreaker“ oder „Cocaine, Sex & Alcohol (From A Basement In Los Angeles)„) ganz, ganz nahe gekommen sind…
Dock keine Sorge: der Fanboy bleibt an einem der besten und talentiertesten Singer/Songwriter der letzten zehn Jahre (Isso.) dran.
Noah Gundersen über das neue Album „Lover“:
„On Valentines Day, 2019, I was in bed with my girlfriend, in a hotel room in Seattle, tripping on mushrooms. I was showing her bits and pieces of the album in its then unfinished form. at the time it was going to be called ‚I hope you meet everything you fear.‘ I guess it still could be. but as I was hearing the songs outside of my own ego, I began to see a pattern. or more so a person. A boy. A boy who had tried really hard for a long time to fill a space in his heart. A boy who didn’t know how to be alone, but regardless spent most of his time floating in his own head. A boy who really, really wanted to experience love – a majestic love, an epic love. And in the end, a boy who didn’t have anything to prove anymore.
It’s been a challenging couple years for me. I’ve had expectations shattered, relationships fail. I’ve felt the mortality of my own body. I’ve been hurt and caused hurt. I’ve spiraled into periods of substance abuse. But along the way I’ve sidled up to myself. I’ve been able to look in the mirror with more grace and be ok with who I see there, with all his flaws and imperfections.
Some of these songs are very old. Someone told me once that songwriters are like prophets (though he said you should never say that in an interview. Sorry John). We’re meant to see things that others can’t. Sometimes those ‚others‘ are ourselves. There are songs on this record that I wrote years ago, without really grasping their meaning until now. My therapist says art is the self talking to the self. I guess i was trying to get a message across, cast out into the sea of songs like a message in a shipwrecked bottle.
I imagine this album as a sci-fi movie, where a man travels through the infinite darkness of space, alone in his ship. He eventually goes mad, is visited by some interstellar being of light who bestows on him a revelation. He falls into a dream state and makes love with an angel and is made whole for a moment. Later he wakes up, alone in his cockpit, with that sort of sad but beautiful certainty that comes from accepting one’s aloneness.
This record is deeply personal. it’s about love, it’s about failure, it’s about drugs, it’s about sex, it’s about age, it’s about regret, it’s about itself (very meta, I know) and it’s about finding peace. I think it’s the most I’ve ever put of myself into something. It’s been cathartic. I’ve cried a lot.
My close friend and producer Andy Park also poured his soul into this record. We spent 2 years, mostly in his apartment, carving away at it. Sometimes it felt like we had poured a slab of concrete, with the blind faith that somewhere inside was a beautiful sculpture. This is just as much his record as it is mine. Also shoutout to his lovely girlfriend Tess for letting me invade their space constantly and making them miss Game of Thrones because of last minute mix recalls.
To all the people in these songs, I love you. I’m sorry for the hurt I’ve caused.
And to you, the listener, I hope you find a space for this record. I hope it moves you. I hope above all that it can remind you to be kind to yourself, to find patience and grace.
‚I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.‘
– Isaac Newton“
Noah Gundersen über die Vorab-Single „Robin Williams“, welche auch das Album eröffnen wird:
„I wrote someone a letter once, apologizing for how things had gone down, handing it off to her outside an Alex Cameron show. She responded by saying, ‚You can’t lose what you don’t own.‘ I think this applies to a lot of things.
Things come to you in their own time. As I’ve gotten older, the less I really know and the more I’ve become ok with that. Dylan probably said it best in, ‚I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.‘ I’ve tried so hard to change and shape myself around external and internal expectations, yet always seem to come back to the same place. I’m learning to accept this.
Death comes for us all, no matter how talented we are, no matter how much work we make. I had just finished the Robin Williams documentary when I wrote this and was deeply moved by his spirit and enormous talent. I had also been reading about the expansiveness of DMT in Tao Lin’s ‚Trip‘. Art is both everything and nothing. Living is the same.“
„One way or another, it’s gonna make its presence known
From one monkey to another, you can’t lose what you don’t own
It’s okay if you get anxious, just please don’t call the cops
There’s a couple things I’m sure of, and a whole lot more I’m not
There’s a sentimental value to the memory of love
It’s a pretty looking rainbow, what does it remind you of?
Is it somewhere there’s a heart of gold that’s never gonna rust?
Or it’s a hard rain, honey, but it’s never gonna flood
Despite all my reservations, I’ve been doing this for years
Hoping that some magic touch would finally make it clear
But when it all comes crashing down, I’m still standing here
Looking at the same face in the same place, just a different kind of mirror
Well, nothing lasts forever, and every other trope
I guess it just depends how much DMT you smoked
But when I think of Robin Williams at the end of his rope
It makes no difference what you’re making, the reaper makes the final joke
So I gather my impressions of the universal sigh
And hope that someone’s listening to their radio tonight
Though it doesn’t really matter with so many come before
And who the hell are we fooling? No one buys records anymore“
Rock and Roll.