11 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Peeking out of the shifting atmospherics of Lower Dens’ sophomore album, Nootropics, is a furtive intelligence that teases the listener with glimpses of hidden worlds and conflicted emotions. Frontwoman Jana Hunter guides her group a bit deeper into electronica terrain this time out, fusing the evocative austerity of Brian Eno’s late-‘70s productions with the opiated haze of modern shoegaze bands. Hunter’s cool (but not disengaged) vocals murmur over gliding tracks that interweave vintage synthesizer sounds, arid beats, and guitar feedback washes. “Brains” sums up much of Lower Dens’ bewitching appeal with its cinematic jump-cut lyrics and ominous groove. The jittery rhythm of “Alphabet” and the darkly swelling contours of “Lamb” further define the band’s ability to construct subtle soundscapes out of minimal elements. The undulating bass and echoing vocals of “Propagation” add an unexpectedly sensuous touch. Elusive but mesmerizing, Nootropics haunts the mind after the last note has faded away.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Peeking out of the shifting atmospherics of Lower Dens’ sophomore album, Nootropics, is a furtive intelligence that teases the listener with glimpses of hidden worlds and conflicted emotions. Frontwoman Jana Hunter guides her group a bit deeper into electronica terrain this time out, fusing the evocative austerity of Brian Eno’s late-‘70s productions with the opiated haze of modern shoegaze bands. Hunter’s cool (but not disengaged) vocals murmur over gliding tracks that interweave vintage synthesizer sounds, arid beats, and guitar feedback washes. “Brains” sums up much of Lower Dens’ bewitching appeal with its cinematic jump-cut lyrics and ominous groove. The jittery rhythm of “Alphabet” and the darkly swelling contours of “Lamb” further define the band’s ability to construct subtle soundscapes out of minimal elements. The undulating bass and echoing vocals of “Propagation” add an unexpectedly sensuous touch. Elusive but mesmerizing, Nootropics haunts the mind after the last note has faded away.

TITLE TIME
5:28
5:07
2:05
4:57
3:41
3:20
4:16
3:35
5:27
12:18
5:05

About Lower Dens

Based out of Baltimore, Maryland, Lower Dens is one of many side projects from singer/songwriter Jana Hunter. Hunter is also joined by guitarist Will Adams, bassist Geoff Graham, and drummer Abram Sanders. Together, the freak folk quartet has a sound that is psychedelic and murky, embodying the experimental nature of the Baltimore music scene with songs that are equal parts reverb-drenched folk and swirling ambience. After playing a string of house shows, Lower Dens went into the studio to record its first album with Chris Freeland (of Oxes fame). In 2010, the band released its full-length debut, Twin-Hand Movement, on Devendra Banhart's Gnomonsong label. In the months that followed the group would refine its sound through touring and experimentation. Sanders stepped down as drummer in 2011, replaced by Nate Nelson. The band was also filled out with additional guitarist/keyboardist Carter Tanton. This expanded version of the band returned in 2012 with sophomore album Nootropics. In early 2015 the band released its third studio long-player, Escape from Evil, via Ribbon Music. ~ Gregory Heaney

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