On the surface, Lower Dens’ newest album, Escape From Evil, is the most pop album the group has put out to date. It rides the growing wave of modern bands adding subtle synth hooks over nostalgic, drawn-out lyrics of unrequited love, which makes sense when you consider the lead singer Jana Hunter wrote half the album while she was on tour with Sharon Van Etten last year.
The production is simultaneously much more complex, and yet manages to feel cleaner and more direct. As the guitar swells, Hunter’s vibrato echoes out, and the synth washes over the song in tracks like “I Am the Earth,” yet the drums and bass maintain their driving pace, tying it all together and keeping it from getting lost in itself.
Often by the middle of a song, it sounds like Lower Dens are trying to break out of the restraints they put on themselves at the beginning of the song to create the energy that surrounds the reserved chaos they’re unleashing. When listened to in its entirety, Escape From Evil does an excellent job creating a mood while experimenting with new ideas in every song. However, it does take its time building its sound, and showing off the nuance that makes the album truly stand out. This is the perfect album to dive into during your commute home from work, and probably not while you’re at home casually cooking dinner.