Review: Noah Gundersen – A Pillar of Salt

Sometimes you can lose something that is still right there in front of you. A city you called home; a person who once felt as close to you as the wind on your face; a chapter of your life that still seems fresh in your memory, even if it’s long gone. These are the people and places and things that seem to form the beating heart of Noah Gundersen’s sublime fifth album, called A Pillar of Salt. It’s an album about bright little lost things; about flickers of memory so vivid that they seem like they’re happening now; of recollections or fragments of dreams that hurt like a dagger in your side because they remind you how much things have changed. Gundersen has always been good at conveying that type of loss: Of writing songs about lost loves that feel like cigarette smoke in your chest, or of capturing the very rhythm of autumn in his words and music. But it’s possible he’s never assembled a set of songs as stunningly beautiful and as disarmingly visceral as the 11 tracks that make up A Pillar of Salt. It’s an album that blindsides you, and that might just leave you gasping for air. I have not been able to go more than 24 hours without listening to it since I first heard it three weeks ago.

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