Albums to watch

The Competition

Lower Dens

The Competition

Fourth album from the Baltimore indie pop duo Jana Hunter and Nate Nelson

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Ribbon Music
UK Release date
US Release date
  1. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    It's volatile, beguiling stuff, and utterly distinctive
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  2. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Meditative Time (You Got Me) sets the pace: a gently rambling rumination twinkling with congas, shakers and bird-like flutes. Print edition only

  3. 8.0 |   The Music

    It feels like Lower Dens had this in them all along, waiting to burst forth. It was worth the wait
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  4. 8.0 |   Northern Transmission

    The Competition is this years ultimate dance floor filling protest album
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  5. 8.0 |   Slant Magazine

    The album questions the notion that competition is essential to human progress
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  6. 7.5 |   Under The Radar

    The Competition feels like a protest record. It conveys the message of living a full, unafraid life, the life that we chose, through forward-thinking electronic pop
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  7. 7.0 |   Clash

    It’s an impressive front six from Lower Dens, but sadly ‘The Competition’ falls a few tracks short of greatness
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  8. 7.0 |   The 405

    The music, like the topics and lyrics, doesn’t break any new ground, but it’s solidly rendered and hard to find moments to knock
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  9. 7.0 |   No Ripcord

    Hunter's biting social critique is the focal point from start to finish, revealing his more vulnerable self in the process—a bold reinvention that should follow whichever direction he chooses to take from here on out
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  10. 7.0 |   All Music

    It’s a different beast from their earlier iterations, but a compelling remodelling with interlocking layers of both sound and cultural critique
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  11. 7.0 |   Uncut

    Sees them cutting all ties to their bleak kosmische past, shaping Jana Hunter's songs into darkly gleaming and hopeful synthpop panoramas. Hunter's rich contralto is always at their centre. Print edition only

  12. 6.7 |   Pitchfork

    The Baltimore synth-pop band’s latest might be their most explicitly political and theoretical work, tackling nothing less than the socio-psychological ravages of capitalism
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  13. 6.0 |   Exclaim

    The Competition may be Lower Dens' most accessible album, but its best moments come when the band slow down and strips back their sound
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  14. 6.0 |   The Skinny

    Musically, Hunter creates something that borders on what one would imagine a collaboration between Beach House and Robyn would sound like
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