Lower Dens are a new wave synth band that call Baltimore Maryland home. It is hard to call something new wave anymore given that the genre has been around for over twenty years and all it is hardly new at this point. Perhaps it’s better to call bands with qualities similar to the great new wave originals Joy Division or The Cure by some other genre moniker, something like: The Children of The Wave or just Nue Wave (or maybe something less awful than those suggestions). The lead singer of Lower Dens is Texas native Jana Hunter, her voice is really the centerpiece of their latest album Nootropics. She has this earthy alto voice that sounds dark and burdened, exuding the qualities and characteristics that suggest an unfulfilled desire to be set free. The melodies that line each of the tracks of Nootropics have this nice droning feel to them matched with compelling synth riffs. You get the sense that the power which is released in tracks like Brains and Candy rests in the tight rhythmic buildup. What this does is it takes the listener on a dimly lit musical journey, leading to a subtly impactful apex. Simply put the result is good, very good, which for those who have been paying attention to the new music being released so far this year is far too rare of a thing.
Lower Dens may be a relatively new band having only come into being in 2009 but they have managed to make something of value with Nootropics. The best examples of Lower Dens talents can be found in the tracks Brains, Candy and Nova Anthem all of which are must listens for anyone looking to extend their musical libraries.