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coverpic flag US - Maryland - Full Moon 226 - 02/04/15

Lower Dens
To Die in L.A.
Ribbon Music

If I didn't know Beach House producer Chris Coady had a hand in Lower Dens' forthcoming third album Escape From Evil, I probably could've guessed from listening to their new single 'To Die in L.A.' It sounds so much like Beach House it's almost a parody. As gorgeous as Beach House's music may be, it's never really grabbed me. I mean, I can appreciate the husky desolation in Legrand's voice, the artisan's touch in the arrangement of their dreamy music, but I rarely go back for more. Lower Dens, on the other hand - I can't count the number of times I've played Twin Hand Movement and Nootropics.

On 'To Die in L.A.', the move into Beach House territory is, I'm hoping, just to tease out the highlights in Lower Dens' sound. This is the poppiest song off the new album, surely? It's a single - it's supposed to grab people. Vocals front and centre! Bright keyboard arpeggio! Chiming Strat! Brisk tempo! I can already picture sensitive twenty-somethings in cardigans grooving self-consciously around an indie disco... As usual, though, when I start paying attention to what Jana Hunter is singing, the song takes on a slightly different hue: "I wish I could count on you to be mine / But here I'm not crying / I'm just glad to be alive".

For now, I'm cynical about their new direction on the basis of this single. Hopefully the musical momentum of Lower Dens 3.0 translates into something irresistible over the course of Escape From Evil, which comes out on Ribbon Music on 30th March - just in time for my 38th birthday. Thanks, Lower Dens.

Copyright © 2015 Tim Clarke e-mail address

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