Lower Dens – ‘Nootropics’ – Album review

Originally published: The Stool Pigeon

The title of Lower Dens’ sophomore album, Nootropics, references their interest in transhumanism – the use of technology to extend human capabilities. A pompous concept, for sure; yet after millions of years of human evolution, man has reached a point where he is now dumber than his phone. Fortunately for the Baltimore-based four-piece, they can find their way around tune, pinpointing emotive landmarks on their record’s journey. The carousel waltz of opener ‘Alphabet Song’ ushers the listener in with kid gloves, before the darker odysseys of ‘Lamb’ and ‘Candy’ delve deeper into Galaxie 500 territory. But it’s the motorik undulation of ‘Brains’, where Jana Hunter’s languid, mantra-like vocal builds and breaks against its pulsating rhythm, which really puts this band on the map.

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