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Lower Dens

Baltimore band Lower Dens originally began as an extension of long-time solo artist Jana Hunter's dark and mesmerizing songwriting. Starting as a reverb-saturated and guitar-centric indie rock band in 2010, they grew into more of a dream pop style with the incorporation of synthesizers and electronic elements on 2012 sophomore outing Nootropics. After years of solo touring, experimental folk songwriter Jana Hunter decided to take a hiatus from traveling, putting a backing band together to accompany him on a final tour. This tour proved to be far more fulfilling than the many he'd done by himself, and he realized he didn't dislike touring but had grown less comfortable playing his angular solo music in the live setting. Lower Dens was born out of this realization, with Hunter singing and playing guitar and being joined by Baltimore musicians Will Adams on second guitar, Geoff Graham on bass, and Abram Sanders on drums. The band quickly wrote a set of drifting and shadowy indie rock songs, recording them for their 2010 debut album, Twin Hand Movement. The LP was more rock-based than much of Hunter's solo catalog, heavy on atmospheric guitars with tense, emotionally charged vocals buried deep in the mix. The album was well-received critically and Lower Dens toured widely to promote it, refining their sound as they went. Sanders stepped down as drummer in 2011, replaced by Nate Nelson. The band was also filled out with additional guitarist/keyboardist Carter Tanton. Tanton's contributions, along with Hunter's growing interest in synthesizers and MIDI production, informed the dreamier and more electronic sound of their 2012 sophomore album, Nootropics. In early 2015, the group continued further along in a more synth-friendly style on their third studio long-player, Escape from Evil, released via the Ribbon Music label. It would be four years before Hunter and company returned with their fourth full-length, 2019's The Competition.
© Fred Thomas /TiVo


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