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Lower Dens

Lower Dens are a shoegaze band from Baltimore, Maryland formed in 2010.

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 Lower Dens Biography

Lower Dens are a shoegaze band from Baltimore, Maryland formed in 2010. Formed by Jana Hunter, the band has released two albums: their debut on Gnomonsong records and a follow up album on Ribbon Music.

The record as a whole begs for an assessment of all the flaws inherent in our existence, and to imagine a better, more suitable, logical way for humanity to live.” So says Lower Dens leader Jana Hunter about the band’s stunning new album Nootropics. It’s an ambitious work, and it delivers — heavily metaphorical, the symmetries and concordances of the lyrics run deep; the luminous lines of the music converge at a point in a future just out of view. Lower Dens has made music that reconciles fear and uncertainty by freeze-framing it and turning it into a thing of beauty.

Pronounced no-eh-tro-pics, the title refers to a type of drug used to enhance memory or other cognitive functions. That’s a reference to Hunter’s interest in transhumanism, the use of technology to extend human capabilities. It could just as easily extend to the music itself — even the band’s newfound keyboards achieve a human-digital synthesis that aptly mirrors the album’s themes.

Lower Dens released their beguiling debut album Twin-Hand Movement in July 2010. Like Nootropics, the full depth and range of its formidable charms unfold over multiple listens — it’s a grower, and accordingly, Lower Dens’ popularity and acclaim grew and grew too. They were asked to join bigger and bigger tours, with the likes of Bear in Heaven, the Walkmen, Beach House, and Deerhunter, and wound up playing around 200 shows in that grueling 12-month span, developing the kind of musical telepathy that only relentless touring can bring.

Somehow, amid all the travel, Hunter had to write songs for the next album. So she got a keyboard — an instrument she doesn’t really know how to play — plugged in some headphones, and began composing, writing most of Nootropics in the back seat of the Lower Dens tour van as it rolled down the interstates. “It helped me write a record that feels good looking out a car window,” Hunter says. But it also helped her to write a trailblazing new record.

And that’s what Nootropics is all about. The album is the second of a four-album cycle that the band had planned from the very beginning of its existence. Where Twin-Hand Movement was about community, using the band’s native Baltimore scene as a springboard and inspiration, Nootropics is the next step.

“This record goes beyond the community around us and takes a broader look at human history,” says Hunter. “We’re creating a world to help our species survive and make our lives easier, but if we continue down this path it will destroy us. And that might seem bitterly sad, but I prefer to see our options and our potential.”

“Alphabet,” “Brains” and “Propagation” form a triptych that states the album’s key themes. “Alphabet,” a reference to a 1920 dadaist poem by Louis Aragon titled “Suicide,” “looks at our entire history as a species,” says Hunter. “Brains,” with its sleek, metronomic pulse, examines our relationship to technology, in particular artificial intelligence, and the lush future-pop of “Propagation” explores the desire to procreate: “Is it a trap?” Hunter wonders. “A trap custom-fit to each individual?”

Along with guitarist William Adams, bassist Geoffrey Graham and singer-guitarist Hunter, Lower Dens has a new drummer, Nate Nelson (Mouthus, Crazy Dreams Band) and keyboardist Carter Tanton (Marissa Nadler, Drug Rug, and two fine solo albums), who also plays some guitar. “This particular ensemble,” Hunter says, “is my favorite group I’ve ever played with.”

The minimalism here is monumental: Like icebergs viewed through deep mist, elements in the music that seem subtle at first soon reveal themselves as colossal developments. Hunter’s luxuriant alto croon soars on “Nova Anthem” and lapses into a mysteriously submerged murmur on “Brains.” Throughout, Adams’ guitar scythes the songs with impeccable electric filigrees.

From its opening moments to its last, Nootropics is concerned with texture and timbre: the papery thump of brush on snare, soft subsonic thunderclaps, the glorious clamor of a wall of symphonically stacked electric guitars. And there’s the sun-dappled cloudbank of sound of the instrumental “Lion in Winter, Pt. 1.” “We’d done noise jams in practice to keep our ears fresh, so we developed this one with a bit of a plot to it,” says Hunter. “That recording is the best we’d ever played it. It’s one of my favorite things we’ve ever done.”

Themes of renewal mark the album’s truly epic closing track, “In the End Is the Beginning.” “We think we know what there is to know about our reality,” Hunter observes. “But there’s a real possibility that we don’t know much at all. Perhaps we’re in the process of acknowledging that and moving on to better things. And the narrator of the song is saying that he or she is ready for come what may.”

Spare and yet teeming with sound and portent, Nootropics rewards attentive listening. “You have to be paying attention,” Hunter says, “which is a lot to ask of people. But that’s the way I like it.”

Only time can tell if a work of art is visionary, but very few are even in contention. We’ll see if the darkly hopeful future forecast in Nootropics comes to pass. Stay tuned.

  • Current bio, from the release of Nootropics [May 2012]

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.)

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FAQs
  • HOW TO BOOK Lower Dens?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Lower Dens for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Lower Dens, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Lower Dens or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Lower Dens?

    Booking fees for Lower Dens, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Lower Dens, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Lower Dens?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Lower Dens for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Lower Dens for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Lower Dens or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Lower Dens or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

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Lower Dens

Lower Dens are a shoegaze band from Baltimore, Maryland formed in 2010.

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Categories:

Lower Dens Biography

Lower Dens are a shoegaze band from Baltimore, Maryland formed in 2010. Formed by Jana Hunter, the band has released two albums: their debut on Gnomonsong records and a follow up album on Ribbon Music.

The record as a whole begs for an assessment of all the flaws inherent in our existence, and to imagine a better, more suitable, logical way for humanity to live.” So says Lower Dens leader Jana Hunter about the band’s stunning new album Nootropics. It’s an ambitious work, and it delivers — heavily metaphorical, the symmetries and concordances of the lyrics run deep; the luminous lines of the music converge at a point in a future just out of view. Lower Dens has made music that reconciles fear and uncertainty by freeze-framing it and turning it into a thing of beauty.

Pronounced no-eh-tro-pics, the title refers to a type of drug used to enhance memory or other cognitive functions. That’s a reference to Hunter’s interest in transhumanism, the use of technology to extend human capabilities. It could just as easily extend to the music itself — even the band’s newfound keyboards achieve a human-digital synthesis that aptly mirrors the album’s themes.

Lower Dens released their beguiling debut album Twin-Hand Movement in July 2010. Like Nootropics, the full depth and range of its formidable charms unfold over multiple listens — it’s a grower, and accordingly, Lower Dens’ popularity and acclaim grew and grew too. They were asked to join bigger and bigger tours, with the likes of Bear in Heaven, the Walkmen, Beach House, and Deerhunter, and wound up playing around 200 shows in that grueling 12-month span, developing the kind of musical telepathy that only relentless touring can bring.

Somehow, amid all the travel, Hunter had to write songs for the next album. So she got a keyboard — an instrument she doesn’t really know how to play — plugged in some headphones, and began composing, writing most of Nootropics in the back seat of the Lower Dens tour van as it rolled down the interstates. “It helped me write a record that feels good looking out a car window,” Hunter says. But it also helped her to write a trailblazing new record.

And that’s what Nootropics is all about. The album is the second of a four-album cycle that the band had planned from the very beginning of its existence. Where Twin-Hand Movement was about community, using the band’s native Baltimore scene as a springboard and inspiration, Nootropics is the next step.

“This record goes beyond the community around us and takes a broader look at human history,” says Hunter. “We’re creating a world to help our species survive and make our lives easier, but if we continue down this path it will destroy us. And that might seem bitterly sad, but I prefer to see our options and our potential.”

“Alphabet,” “Brains” and “Propagation” form a triptych that states the album’s key themes. “Alphabet,” a reference to a 1920 dadaist poem by Louis Aragon titled “Suicide,” “looks at our entire history as a species,” says Hunter. “Brains,” with its sleek, metronomic pulse, examines our relationship to technology, in particular artificial intelligence, and the lush future-pop of “Propagation” explores the desire to procreate: “Is it a trap?” Hunter wonders. “A trap custom-fit to each individual?”

Along with guitarist William Adams, bassist Geoffrey Graham and singer-guitarist Hunter, Lower Dens has a new drummer, Nate Nelson (Mouthus, Crazy Dreams Band) and keyboardist Carter Tanton (Marissa Nadler, Drug Rug, and two fine solo albums), who also plays some guitar. “This particular ensemble,” Hunter says, “is my favorite group I’ve ever played with.”

The minimalism here is monumental: Like icebergs viewed through deep mist, elements in the music that seem subtle at first soon reveal themselves as colossal developments. Hunter’s luxuriant alto croon soars on “Nova Anthem” and lapses into a mysteriously submerged murmur on “Brains.” Throughout, Adams’ guitar scythes the songs with impeccable electric filigrees.

From its opening moments to its last, Nootropics is concerned with texture and timbre: the papery thump of brush on snare, soft subsonic thunderclaps, the glorious clamor of a wall of symphonically stacked electric guitars. And there’s the sun-dappled cloudbank of sound of the instrumental “Lion in Winter, Pt. 1.” “We’d done noise jams in practice to keep our ears fresh, so we developed this one with a bit of a plot to it,” says Hunter. “That recording is the best we’d ever played it. It’s one of my favorite things we’ve ever done.”

Themes of renewal mark the album’s truly epic closing track, “In the End Is the Beginning.” “We think we know what there is to know about our reality,” Hunter observes. “But there’s a real possibility that we don’t know much at all. Perhaps we’re in the process of acknowledging that and moving on to better things. And the narrator of the song is saying that he or she is ready for come what may.”

Spare and yet teeming with sound and portent, Nootropics rewards attentive listening. “You have to be paying attention,” Hunter says, “which is a lot to ask of people. But that’s the way I like it.”

Only time can tell if a work of art is visionary, but very few are even in contention. We’ll see if the darkly hopeful future forecast in Nootropics comes to pass. Stay tuned.

  • Current bio, from the release of Nootropics [May 2012]

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.)

FAQs on booking Lower Dens

  • How to book Lower Dens?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Lower Dens for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Lower Dens, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Lower Dens or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Lower Dens?

    Booking fees for Lower Dens, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Lower Dens, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Lower Dens?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Lower Dens for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Lower Dens for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Lower Dens or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Lower Dens or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Lower Dens is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Lower Dens for your event is available upon request. Lower Dens generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Arcade Fire, Lyle Lovett, Bacon Brothers, Rorke Denver and Barbara Corcoran. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Lower Dens for an upcoming event.

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Speakers Similar to Lower Dens

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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