Lower Dens first came on my radar when they opened (and stole) a show at Death By Audio with Double Dagger and Future Islands a few months ago. The room was crowded and smokey, I am vertically challenged, I didn’t get a proper look at the band though, sight relatively unseen, they were our next Band To Watch. Because Lower Dens get the benefit of being billed as a new act, a fair designation when you are in fact a new band with a debut LP on the way. Had I better sightlines that night, though, my reason for immediately adoring the dusky vocal guiding Lower Dens’ twilight tunes would have come into focus as their faces did — it belongs to Jana Hunter, a voice we know and love well, when pitching melodies her own, or by Michael Stipe, and now, here.
That night I bought their four-track demo from the merch table; one of those tracks, a slowly surging, rather perfect cover of Mayo Thompson’s “Dear Betty Baby,” is up in that BTW post along with “Hospice Gates,” the first listen from their forthcoming 11-song LP Twin-Hand Movement. “Tea Lights” is the second, mandatory listen. Its muffled drums and threadbare guitars nail a rickety charm, one that suits Jana’s husk and flow, near meditative melodic repetitions. Nice Monday morning listening.
Twin-Hand Movement is out 7/20 via Gnomonsong.