Lower Dens ‘Real Thing': a Slinky Love Letter to the ’80s
Lower Dens have kept a relatively low profile since releasing their Escape From Evil LP last year. Now, the Baltimore crew is back with "Real Thing," a slinky love letter to the ’80s. Founder Jana Hunter produced and co-wrote the track with acid-folk auteur Arthur Bates and producer Ariel Rechtshaid (Sky Ferreira, Vampire Weekend). It arrives alongside a retro-style video from SSION’s Cody Critcheloe (also behind Lower Dens' "To Die in L.A." clip), which sees Hunter performing the track solo through a Vaseline-smeared lens. Check it out below, and scroll down for a statement from Hunter and the band's upcoming tour dates, several of which are alongside post-rockers Explosions in the Sky.
In other Lower Dens-related news, the band will contribute a cover of Hall & Oates’ “Maneater” to The Time Is Now, an ’80s covers compilation to benefit amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. Phantogram, Metric and Aloe Blacc are just a few of the other artists slated to appear on the project, which will also include a duet between burlesque icon Dita Von Teese and French singer-songwriter Sebastian Tellier (weird, I know). The compilation will be out October 7 via Republic.
Here's what Hunter had to say about the song and video in a press release:
Initially, I wrote 'Real Thing' with my friend, musician Arthur Bates. Arthur and I have had a very long, intense, chaotic and very close friendship. He's also been a major influence on me personally and artistically. I love him. When we're together, the air is full of intense melancholy, reckless abandon, and a very goofy kind of dark humor. Somehow in our years of knowing each other we'd never written a real song together. We got together specifically for that purpose, in Houston, the town where we met, and wrote this song in about an hour. The lyrics were inspired by an advice column in an old copy of Oui magazine I found in Arthur's apartment.
The woman writing in to the column seemed genuinely torn between her love for her husband and her desire to fuck around. I find that kind of selfishness entirely relatable, the kind of thing all of us know about ourselves and find nearly impossible to admit. Those kinds of simultaneously internal and yet universal struggles bring me to tears. What if we could all acknowledge just those kinds of flaws, accept them, resolve not to judge each other? I mean, who wants this misery? This alienation? The greed that follows generations of repression? The jealously, oppression and injustice that come next? No. Hell no. If that's reality, I don't care to be a part of it. Or at least that's how I let myself feel from time to time, until I realize I love people and I'm part of the community of humankind and if things are gonna be better for anybody it's on me to do my part. Might seem like a lot but, for me, it's all in this song.
Last, I wanna acknowledge Ariel, Caleb and Henrik, who contributed writing and engineering. They all added so much and I'm very grateful. And of course, to Arthur as well, I owe so much. Thank you, my friend. The visuals are 100℅ Cody Critcheloe AKA SSION, whose vision I will always follow to its realization. I have immense respect for him.
LOWER DENS on TOUR
Sept. 12 — Indianapolis, IN @ Deluxe @ Old National Center %
Sept. 13 — Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall %
Sept. 14 — Cleveland, OH @ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Sept. 15 — Detroit, MI @ Masonic Temple Theatre %
Sept. 24 — Albany, NY – Larkfest
Sept. 30 — Brooklyn, NY @ Pioneer Works [“The Present Is the Form of All Life” exhibit]
Oct. 1 — Harrisburg, PA @ Makespace Music Festival
Dec. 17-18 — Houston, TX @ Day for Night
May 11, 2017 — Baltimore, MD @ Joseph Myerhoff Symphony (WTMD & the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra present PULSE)
% w/ Explosions in the Sky