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Lower Dens, Ascending

Frank Hamilton

Jana Hunter sounds like she's having fun on Escape From Evil.

Photography by Frank Hamilton

Jana Hunter's first two albums with her band, Lower Dens, were hazy experiments in krautrock and psychedelia. But on the Baltimore outfit's latest, Escape From Evil, it's as if the queer frontwoman has shaken off the cobwebs, thrust open the windows, and finally let in some light.

Hunter has said she was tired of detailing how miserable she was, and while tracks like the Cure-inspired "Quo Vadis" and the portentous slow-burner "I Am the Earth" bear traces of the group's trademark gloom, their third record is the closest they've come to sounding like they're actually having fun. "I'm not crying / I'm just glad to be alive," Hunter declares in the resplendent "To Die in L.A.," her first honest-to-goodness pop song. This is Lower Dens at their most inviting and captivating.

Escape From Evil releases March 31. Watch the video for "To Die in L.A." below:

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