Band To Watch: Lower Dens

Texas-born Golden Apple, R.E.M. coverer, and ex-pizza shop employe Jana Hunter is currently living in Baltimore and fronting the quartet, Lower Dens. She was the first person to release a record on Devendra Banhart and Andy Cabic’s Gnomonsong via 2005′s Blank Unstaring Heirs Of Doom, followed by 2007′s There’s No Home and Carrion EP on the same label. Sticking to the DevBan path, Lower Dens have a 7″ single and a full-length Twin-Hand Movement forthcoming on Gnomonsong. As far as other constants, Hunter still has that dusky, powerful voice. Otherwise, things are more band-like, less bedroom experimental. It suits her: Hunter felt like a frontwoman even when she was recording solo on a 4-track. That said, Lower Dens is much more than simply Hunter under another name. See what we mean via this cover of Mayo Thompson’s “Dear Betty Baby,” which won’t be on their forthcoming album, but appears on a collection of demos they’r selling at shows. (Worth noting: We discovered Lower Dens at a show at Death By Audio a few weeks ago opening for Double Dagger and Future Islands, and selected this track after purchasing their demos at the merch table. Yes, purchasing — they were that good.) (Also note: LD have songs titled “A Dogs Dick” and “Two Cocks,” but we haven’t cracked any conceptual codes as of yet.) To give you a fuller understanding of the group, we also have Twin-Hand Movement’s “Hospice Gates.”

Twin-Hand Movement is out 7/20 via Gnomonsong. It’ll be preceded by the “I Get Nervous,” out 5/31 via the same label.

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Comments (5)
  1. Awesome! I saw them open for Wye Oak in Pittsburgh a while back and was similarly moved to purchase a demo CD (which actually didn’t have this track, they must be working on a bunch of them). See them live if you can!

  2. I can totally get behind this. The songs have a really captivating mood, the writing is great: simple but interesting.

  3. they are an incredibly strong live band and in such an early stage of existence, it’s really unbelievable. it figures that they’re going on/been on such an extensive tour with only a collection of demos as their only “release” so far. glad to see them here, well deserved

    (saw them at WBAR-b-q)

  4. this band is great. everyone should go see them. also shameless plug…”two cocks” appears in a different form on a split single Jana did that we put out.

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