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.