Lower DensThe CompetitionDownload image Download image
The Competition, the anticipated fourth album from Lower Dens, is a pop album with a concept both emotionally and politically urgent. The title is lead singer and songwriter Jana Hunter’s term for a sociopsychological phenomenon that, in different ways, binds us all. Modern capitalism by nature generates a psychosis that accelerates our insecurities and anxieties to the point of total overload, corroding our intimacies, our communities, and our senses of self. The Competition speaks, in various ways, to the necessity of “socially de-conditioning ourselves and learning how to be people,” Hunter says. “The issues that have shaped my life, for better or for worse, have to do with coming from a family and a culture that totally bought into this competitive mindset.”

The band’s first three albums—Twin-Hand Movement, Nootropics, and Escape from Evil—formed a narrative of sorts, about finding community, and identifying one’s responsibilities. This trajectory was interrupted by personal crises including frustrating battles with mental health. At the same time, Hunter was and is still undergoing a gender transition they had been deferring for many years. “I repressed the idea for a long time,” Hunter says.

Hunter studied Western classical music growing up, “but I was wild and in a lot of pain, and it didn’t really touch that. What did, especially as a very young person, was pop — a spectrum ranging anywhere from Prince to Anne Murray. Home life was very bleak, and pop songs were a guaranteed escape to a mental space where beauty, wonder and love were possible. I wanted to write songs that might have the potential to do that.”

The Competition draws on influences ranging across decades of Western pop music and chronicles messy, vulnerable humanity at a time of upheaval and chaos — through immersive, four-minute songs meant to give pleasure as much as provoke self-examination. It channels an urgent, restless desire to connect. “My voice is gonna be different when I perform these songs than it was when I recorded them,” Hunter says. “I’m equally terrified of and excited by that, but I always want to be more myself onstage, to reach people.”
Release date
September 6, 2019
Featuring the single(s)
"I Drive" & "Galapagos". Stream / Download The Competition:
Ribbon Music: Morgan Lebus

Ribbon Music / licensing@ribbonmusic.com

Tara Perkins / tara@hardlandmanagement.com
Press / Radio
Jen Appel / jena@grandstandhq.com

Jen Daunt / jen.daunt@gmail.com

Sam Hunt / shunt@paradigmagency.com
Listen to The Competition NOW

All dates with Of Monsters and Men unless otherwise noted

9/7/19 Montville Center, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
9/8/19 Boston, MA @ Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion
9/10/19 Philadelphia, PA @ The Met Philadelphia
9/11/19 Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage
9/13/19 Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom
9/14/19 Minneapolis, MN @ Surly Brewing Festival Field
9/16/19 Denver, CO @ Mission Street Ballroom
9/17/19 Ogden, UT @ Ogden Twilight
9/19/19 Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl
9/20/19 Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room Highland Park *
9/22/19 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium
9/24/19 Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
9/26/19 Seattle, WA @ WaMu Theater
9/27/19 Troutdale, OR @ McMenamins Edgefield
9/28/19 Vancouver, BC @ Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre
10/19/19 Queens, NY @ Pitchfork Octfest ^
11/1/19 Houston, TX @ Axelrad Beer Garden *
11/2/19 Mexico City, MX @ RadioBosque Festival ^
* Lower Dens headline show
^ without Of Monsters And Men

The Competition ft. in Pitchfork's Fall Releases to Get Excited About

"... it's exceptional..."
- Billboard

"The Competition is Lower Dens’ most expansive and lush record yet"
- Brooklyn Vegan

Feature: 'The Story Behind Every Song on Lower Dens' New Album The Competition' via Stereogum

"The Competition proves a multi-layered offering, juxtaposing viscerally relevant themes with modulating, often overpowering soundscapes. It's volatile, beguiling stuff, and utterly distinctive."
- Line of Best Fit 8/10* Review

Other Features & Reviews: MOJO 4/5, Paste 8.6/10, Slant 4/5

Watch the video for "Young Republicans", directed by Raúl Gonzo.

"First single 'Young Republicans' is a genuine bop...a straight-up banger."
- Stereogum

"'Young Republicans' is unimpeachable disco-pop."
- The Fader

“arguably one of the best — and certainly one of the timeliest — choruses of the year."
- Gorilla Vs Bear

Watch the new video for "I Drive", directed by Jason Nocito.

"I Drive" release covered by Spin, Rolling Stone, Stereogum, Consequence of Sound, Paste, and many more...

"I Drive" featured on MTV's 'Bop Shop' alongside Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran.

Watch the lyric video for "Galapagos"

"In its lyrics, and in the warm shimmer of its production, 'Galapagos' feels like a cosmic affirmation."
- Spin

"...'Galapagos' has a moody, Big ’80s feel to it, with waves of synths, glistening guitars and pounding toms."
- Brooklyn Vegan

"The single is a meditative dream-pop tune that’s well in line with the anthemic wonder Lower Dens have proven themselves capable of delivering."
- Uproxx

"'Galapagos'...continues Jana Hunter’s exploration into shadowy, widescreen ’80s-inspired synth-pop."
- Stereogum

“Darkly gleaming and hopeful synthpop panoramas.”
- Uncut

The album announcement and video (May 30th) were picked up by Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Spin, Stereogum, FADER, Brooklyn Vegan, Gorilla Vs Bear, Paste, Aupium, Broadway World, Consequence of Sound, Exclaim, Heaven Is An Incubator, Northern Transmissions, Portable Infinite, Soundblab, Treble, Under the Radar, UPROXX, Vanyaland, Vents and Yahoo.

Lower Dens' new LP The Competition coming September 6, 2019 via Ribbon Music - available for pre-order now, featuring enamel pins and a custom trophy competition for fans who engage early. "You too can be a winner!"