MP3: “Blue and Silver”
This Yours Truly session caps off a great year for Baltimore’s Lower Dens. The band released its debut album Twin-Hand Movement to wide acclaim, and now the year-end nods are starting to roll in, from NPR to Stereogum and Gorilla Vs. Bear. In early 2011 the band will play the Kennedy Center in DC, tour with The Walkmen and Wye Oak and release a new single for “Batman.”
Swarming guitar fuzz, bass waves, Jana Hunter’s voice, and insistent drum throbs are the core components of Baltimore’s Lower Dens. Hunter, sometimes known for intimate, ghost-heavy weird-fi, is now writing and playing with a group that might get filed as new wave, or drone pop, or post-punk. With due deference to her solo work, we’re very glad.
The swarming wave-throb, coupled with Hunter’s lyrics and redolent, charred voice, wrecks. The band’s upcoming record, Twin-Hand Movement, is eleven perfect songs long. From opener “Blue & Silver” (anxiety mounts at a quick clip until the final climactic release) to “Plastic & Powder” (a churning, narcotic slow-burner) to “Hospice Gates” (penultimate album cut, proud weirdo anthem, possible creative zenith), not one is a space-taker. They’re rife with the survivalist paranoia you’d expect from residents of a post-urban port hole (and this particular songwriter), crafted methodically and beautifully, and carry you enthusiastically out into the rolling breaks of industrial filth-water.
Lower Dens formed in 2009, when Hunter set about finding a full-time band. They spent the rest of the year sweating in attics and basements, and only stepped out of the shadows to do a quick tour and record. Twin-Hand Movement was recorded by Chris Freeland (ex-Oxes drummer; proprietor of Beat Babies, Baltimore), mixed by Chris Coady (at his DNA, NYC), and mastered by Sarah Register (of the Lodge, NYC and the band Talk Normal.)
01/03 – Washington DC – The Kennedy Center
01/12 – Carrboro NC – Cat’s Cradle $
01/13 – Atlanta GA – Variety Playhouse $
01/14 – Asheville NC – Grey Eagle Tavern $
01/15 – Nashville TN – Exit In $
03/11 – Washington DC – Black Cat !
03/12 – Chapel Hill NC – Local 506 !
03/13 – Atlanta GA – The EARL !
03/15 – Norman OK – The Opolis !
$ = w/ The Walkmen
! = w/ Wye Oak
Street date: Jan. 18, 2011
2. Dear Betty Baby
Street date: July 20, 2010
1. Blue & Silver
2. Tea Lights
3. A Dog’s Dick
4. Holy Water
5. I Get Nervous
6. Completely Golden
7. Plastic & Powder
9. Truss Me
10. Hospice Gates
11. Two Cocks
LOWER DENS LINKS:
MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/lowerdens
Press Materials – http://www.gnomonsong.com/lowerdens/