In the middle of the last decade, Jana Hunter made a name for herself among aficionados of the pastoral psychedelia some called "freak folk." Appropriately enough, Devendra Banhart and Vetiver's Andy Cabic released most of Hunter's albums on their Gnomonsong label. More recently, Hunter has expanded her sonic palette further with Lower Dens. Twin-Hand Movement, from 2010, revealed a more obvious influence of the motorik beats of Neu!, but Hunter just wove that element into an overall dreamscape of sound. The latest Lower Dens record, Nootropics, pushes that alchemical mixture in ways reminiscent of Stereolab, but graced with more lush, expansive guitar figures. Live, the band has an almost otherworldly yet visceral presence that lends the music surprisingly grounded warmth.
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