Baltimore’s Lower Dens are set to return later this summer with their new full-length, The Competition. The follow-up to 2015’s Escape from Evil adds an urgency to the band’s darker synth tones, a compositional reflection of the capitalism-spurred distress at the album’s thematic core. We first heard it on lead single “Young Republicans”, and now it’s given a more intimate representation on new track “I Drive”.
Sounding like a digitally muffled, throaty disco, “I Drive” finds Lower Dens’ singer and songwriter Jana Hunter calling to the heavens, “Why can’t we be with the ones we were made to love?” The melancholy never quite goes away, but as bells toll behind the sturdy wall of synths, they understand that leaving the cause of such feelings is “a sacrifice” they have to make.
“Like a lot of queer and trans people, I’ve learned that real family is made, and it isn’t necessarily blood. Even my blood relatives, we work for that familial connection and trust,” Hunter said in a statement. “This song is about leaving behind obligations to people who don’t love or care about you, being with and about people who do. It’s a feeling so strong it’s driving me. That’s the driving I’m doing.”
Check out Lower Dens’ “I Drive” via its accompanying music video, which was directed by Jason Nocito, choreographed by Veleda Roehl, and features dancers Stephannie Henriquez and Steven Jeltsch. Watch the black-and-white clip below.
The Competition is due out September 6th via Ribbon Music. Pre-orders are going on now.