Noah Gunderson, Lemolo, Chandler Stone: May 4 at The Old Foundry
Embarking on my last month of resignation to all-ages music in Bellingham, I found myself at the Old Foundry on Friday, May 4 to see Noah Gundersen, only to realize that all-ages music is still remarkably cool. The show was sold out, with only a few tickets to be released at the door and a line of hopefuls waiting to get in, which came as no surprise being that I’ve never seen a Noah show not packed in Bellingham. Refusing to wait in line, as any cool person would, I stood about a block away peering at the Foundry until the lines died down. There was a lot of buzz in Woods about the show, not sure if that is indicative of anything but I’ll let you do the detective work.
Starting off the evening was Chandler Stone, who I’ve heard whisperings about since his last show at The Roost and was interested to see what his deal is. Chandler is a Bellingham local singer-songwriter with a pretty clear Pedro the Lion/David Bazan influence, in the best way possible and on the less depressing and more hopeful side for the most part. The precious meter was at an all time high when he sang a song about his fianc , who accompanied him on the accordion for most of his set. I hope to see more of this guy in the future and liked the move to a fuller band.
The next group was what really got me going. One word for you: Lemolo. They’ve been on the tip of every Seattle music bloggers’ keystroke for the past several months. When I heard they classified themselves as “dream-pop” I didn’t know what to think. There is nothing cute about their music. The duo, Meagan Grandall and Kendra Cox, played dark, strong brooding melodies that dispersed all the chatter in the room into prolific silence. The denouement hit me like a ton of bricks as they closed with “Open Air” off their self-titled single. I have become a dedicated fan since this show and patiently await the arrival of their debut full length The Kaleidoscope, set to release on July 3.
An eager crowd was busting with excitement as Noah and his sister Abby, the newest and seemingly truest permutation of Noah’s band, came on stage. After several years of seeing Noah in a handful of settings and with different members alongside him, it’s clear to me that the duo just, works. It could be the shared genes and the years of nurturing their talents into a perfect combination but everything seemed right from their playful taunting of each other on stage to the powerful chemistry that exists when they harmonize.
Noah’s newer material has seemed to take a departure from the more rock and roll, and finds a proper home rooted in folk. He has also shed his dreads for a very sophisticated new look. They started their set with “Poor Man’s Son/Down to the River to Pray” and continued into a well constructed set of boot-stompin’ old favorites, hard hitting covers like Neil Young’s “Down by the River”, and new material including a beautiful, gritty “Cigarettes” which showed that he is clearly moving in a direction that plays to all his strengths.
I couldn’t be happier about the direction Noah and Abby Gundersen are taking with their music and wouldn’t be surprised to see them on a much bigger stage in the near future.