“It’s not that the love is missing, it’s just not around, it’s flowing under, like rivers underground. If I say I love you like you know I do, would you, say you love me too, ‘cause if you do, I’ll keep on loving you.”
Driving down Norris Street in a blue Prius, in my hometown, Clovis, New Mexico, a good friend showed me this song, “San Antonio Fading,” by Noah Gundersen, a singer songwriter from Washington. I remember the windows rolled up, shielding us from the sun’s summer kisses of heat and I remember the sweat on my brow from the workout moments before. I remember her enthusiasm in showing me one of Noah’s songs, her brother had showed her recently—it was like Noah’s music was a secret we could cherish to build on to cherish our friendship. I don’ t think I would have remembered all these things if it wasn’t for this song; it struck me in a way no other song has before—I may have been in a car, driving down a potholed road, but I was there with Noah, I was telling my lover I’d keep loving them if they keep loving me.
From their simple harmonies to their beautiful dances between their respective instruments, Noah and Abby Gundersen, a family duo, create heartwarming, heart racing, heart melting music. The ability of a great musician is evident by their ability to make their audience feel what they feel in the song, to evoke empathy. I bet you pictured yourself driving down a bumpy road in a Prius when I wrote about it earlier, well, take that concept, and put to music, and you have Noah and Abby Gundersen. Listen to the whole song, “San Antonio Fading;” I guarantee you’ll be there with him through the guitar riffs and Abby’s violin pieces—the combination of music and words just does the trick.
I also believe music should call change, however small—it points out change we can see in ourselves and it makes us wonder about worldly change as well. Take Noah’s “Jesus, Jesus.” He says, “Jesus, Jesus could you tell me what the problem is, with all the world and all the people in it? I’ve heard talk about the end of the world, but I’m in love with a girl, and I don’t wanna leave her.” Here, the guitar is alone, singled out, much like Noah is singling out a conversation with Jesus. He desires change in the world, he wants to stay with the people he loves here, on earth—he doesn’t want to worry about some war of the worlds taking that love away. Noah also asks Jesus to be kind to the human race—yeah, we messed up, but let us have another chance: “there are a hundred different things [we’d] still like to do.” He isn’t asking for much, just answers; he just wants to sit with Jesus, have a cup of coffee, talk it out, we don’t all deserve to suffer, right? I’m inspired—I’ve never thought of asking Jesus to just talk it out over coffee, and honestly, it really is that simple.
Beautiful music is always that simple—it is as simple as rolling up the window to feel the cool air conditioning slow your hot heart, it is as simple as clicking on the highlighted links, popping in some headphones or turning up the volume on your speakers, and listening to Noah Gundersen.
And hey, if you liked Noah and want more music like his, check out The Appetizer’s show this week on the Listen Now link. I’m positive you’ll find some things you connect to, and please, give us feedback—we’d love to hear about your musical experience.