Photo by Michael Minasi/KUTX
Lower Dens might allude to the hyper-competitiveness of our society with the title of their latest record, The Competition — but the Baltimore pop trio favors collaboration and self-acceptance. Texas native Jana Hunter, who leads the band, first started releasing solo material in the mid-2000s before forming Lower Dens. The reason for the change? “It’s more fun to play with other people,” he laughed during the band’s Studio 1A interview. Guitarist Peter Tran and drummer Nate Nelson round out the trio and allow for lush intricacies on The Competition.
Following Hunter’s self-discovery in transitioning gender, the record grapples with mental health and acceptance, all cloaked in a shimmering indie pop sound. These ideas have defined much of Lower Den’s discography throughout the group’s existence, but there’s a new urgency behind the music driven by a deep desire to experience genuine connections. The Competition, released last fall, comes after a break of over four years since Lower Dens’ last record. The hiatus came partly out of necessity due to the personal experiences that inform the album’s themes, but also saw the band trying out a new production style with recording in a home studio.
Now on the front end of a one month U.S. tour, Lower Dens performed in Studio 1A ahead of a show at Barracuda that night.
— Annie Lyons, KUTX Intern
Host: Jody Denberg
Audio Engineers: Aly Carlisle-Steinberg, Jake Perlman
Producer: Deidre Gott
Cameras: Gabriel C. Pérez, Michael Minasi, Faith Castle, Steven Gonzalez
Editor: Gabriel C. Pérez