‘Nootropics’ (Ribbon Music)
Conceiving an album as an exploration of the extension of human capability and naming it after a mind-enhancing drug is brave in the extreme. Including a 12-minute song about renewal of the species called ‘In The End Is The Beginning’ is a toenail’s width short of a step too far. With their second album, Baltimore’s Lower Dens have done both. At times redolent of Beach House and Thom Yorke, their minimalist throb is challenging at first, yet allowing the likes of ‘Brains’ and ‘Propagation’ to seep in is to be submerged in an invigoratingly ballsy album. Cherish their bravery.