Albums to watch


Lower Dens


Second album of psychedelic freak folk from this Baltimore outfit

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  1. 9.1 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    Lower Dens’ first album was a fantastic collection of songs that established the bands ability to plunge from carefully crafted rock melodies into psychedelic moments of dark beauty; somehow, Nootropics is able to dive even deeper
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  2. 8.8 |   Paste Magazine

    Nootropics demands specific emotions, forcing perhaps unwanted reactions out of the cracks, while inspiring a wealth of spine-tingling elation
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  3. 8.5 |   Bowlegs

    Points determinedly forwards, eroding the edge of conventional song structure, diffusing and liquefying rocks narratives and personas. It’s all we can do to bathe in its wake
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  4. 8.2 |   Pitchfork

    This is one of those albums that creates its own little sound world, and a lot of its appeal has to do with qualities like texture and atmosphere
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  5. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Ambitious, hypnagogic, Kraftwerk/shoegaze hybrid. Print edition only

  6. 8.0 |   Art Rocker

    The album builds up a moody ambience that’s compelling
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  7. 8.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    If neighbors and former tour mates Beach House are dream pop, then with Nootropics, Lower Dens are nightmare pop
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  8. 8.0 |   Uncut

    A slow burn that lingers long. Print edition only

  9. 8.0 |   musicOMH

    An achingly beautiful and immersive album
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  10. 8.0 |   The Skinny

    One of the most finely composed records we’ve heard this year
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  11. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    If Lower Dens continue to make music at the same rate of progression, the likely excellence of their next record is almost unthinkable. Nootropics is one class act to follow
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  12. 8.0 |   The Fly

    At times redolent of Beach House and Thom Yorke, their minimalist throb is challenging at first
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  13. 8.0 |   DIY

    All at once absorbing and distant ‘Nootropics’ is not an entirely different beast from ‘Twin-Hand Movement’ but its refined edges, percussion heavy sounds and understated opulence find the band’s sonic landscape revitalised
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  14. 8.0 |   Under The Radar

    An intriguing, ambitious set of songs that reward those who opt for full immersion, rather than cherry-picking tracks, with each listen
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  15. 8.0 |   BBC

    Adding electronics to an already complex equation might suggest angular songs but these are sleek soothing balms sombrely and meticulously crafted to usher the listener in
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  16. 8.0 | mag

    The more consciously you listen to the album, the less concrete are the images it is depicting
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  17. 7.5 |   Beats Per Minute

    A dense record, but never hopelessly deep
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  18. 7.5 |   A.V. Club

    As a breathtaking study in grayscale minimalism, Nootropics is exquisite. But it dissipates the instant it touches air
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  19. 7.0 |   Prefix

    The soupy textures are largely achieved through whirring keyboards and synthesizers instead of the band’s past dual-guitar construction
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  20. 7.0 |   Blurt

    Hunter has moved even further from her guitar-toting beginnings, bringing on Carton Tanton for the synthesizers, which, along with machine-precise drums, usher Nootropics into the neighborhood of Krautrock
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  21. 7.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    It’s undoubtedly complex, awkward and occasionally without direction, but it also produces moments of astonishing splendour, each with the capacity to bring neck hairs bristling to attention
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  22. 7.0 |   Rolling Stone

    As you might guess of a gal who titled her 2005 solo album Blank Unstaring Heirs of Doom, Lower Dens frontwoman Jana Hunter has some goth in her
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  23. 6.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    It’s the sound of a band that has its aesthetic nailed, but a little short on all the bliss
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  24. 6.0 |

    Lower Dens have produced a work bathed in texture. It ebbs and flows. It grows. It is meandering yet carefully crafted, ethereal yet grounded
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  25. 6.0 |   Q

    More expansive than it has any right to be. Print edition only

  26. 6.0 |   The Irish Times

    If there’s a flaw, it’s the flagrant self-indulgence on display
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Lower Dens: Nootropics

  • Download full album for just £8.49
  • 1. Alphabet Song £0.89
  • 2. Brains £0.89
  • 3. Stem £0.89
  • 4. Propagation £0.89
  • 5. Lamb £0.89
  • 6. Candy £0.89
  • 7. Lion in Winter Pt. 1 £0.89
  • 8. Lion in Winter Pt. 2 £0.89
  • 9. Nova Anthem £0.89
  • 10. In the End is the Beginning N/A
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