I think Lower Dens take themselves pretty seriously, or at least as serious as you have to take yourself when still concerned with the obsessively sculpted, meticulously detailed, slow-paced, kraut-flexed, spaced-out art-rock in a world where Twitter updates get beamed to jean pockets. ‘Nootropics’ is a listening experience in all capital letters, elliptical songs dropping out in watery textures and foggy perspectives.

Sometimes it crystallizes in wonderfully beatific pulses (‘Lion in Winter Pt. 2’) sometimes it drops right off the radar. Lower Dens are making music to be digested, but the lightweight bluster can fade from the edge. ‘Nootropics’ can certainly surround us, but it rarely moves inward – we’re forced to appreciate from a distance. It’s the sound of a band that has its aesthetic nailed, but a little short on all the bliss. Perhaps that will change in time; for now our souls remain grounded.

By Luke Winkie

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