Baltimore synthpop band Lower Dens are breaking up.
“It’s time for me and Nate [Nelson] to say goodbye to Lower Dens,” lead singer J Hunter wrote in a lengthy post. “We’re proud of what we’ve done, and very lucky to have had so many people supporting us. Spiritually and physically, we, like, can not participate in the music industry any longer. We’re also old, enjoy being with our families, and have other goals in mind.”
In the post, Hunter wrote, “I learned this year that I’m Autistic/have ADHD. I have a name for it now, but it’s always been a part of my identity. When I talked about nerdy conceptual shit in interviews, etc., I inevitably got flack about being pretentious, which I just swallowed. I am a huge nerd with very strong opinions, because I am Autistic. Learning about it has freed me from lifelong self-hatred, and let me be myself.” They added, “What I want is to write, connect with other Autistics, and help create/improve/sustain real systems to facilitate change. With this, I’m deciding that I can and will.”
Hunter explained, “I’ll also post band and personal photos, stock a store with rare LD/JH goods among other things, and release recordings and new music if I make it. I want to reclaim my relationship to music, like I had before the industry.”
Hunter is also soliciting donations. “I don’t currently have an income. I have cervical spinal stenosis with neurological issues and am disabled by it, though I’m in treatment that will possibly restore most functionality eventually knock wood. Regardless, I can’t currently work a regular job, I can’t get on disability because I’m married, and I’ve got some debts. I make ~$5k/yr from royalties and get the occasional publishing check. My spouse supports me but we’re going into debt. If you want to and can support me financially, I’ll have very cheap paid subscriptions plus a link to make one-time donations.”
It’s time for me and Nate to say goodbye to Lower Dens.
We’re proud of what we’ve done, and very lucky to have had so many people supporting us. Spiritually and physically, we, like, can not participate in the music industry any longer. We’re also old, enjoy being with our families, and have other goals in mind.
Thank you Sarah and Bonnie, Hardland Management, Ribbon Music, Sam Hunt, and our former bandmates, especially Geoff Graham, who helped to form this band and gave so much of himself to it in essential contributions and years of very hard work. Thank you to the many good people we’ve worked with over the past decade or so. We were very blessed in this regard. Thank you from me to Nate. Nate Nelson is the best person you could hope to work or play music with. He is also a great friend, and the best drummer I know. Please hire him and give him excellent medical coverage.
My plans for the immediate future involve writing about change, and working to facilitate change. [nerd alert] Lower Den’s “thematic arc”, a conceptual framework that I used to help write our albums, was about radical, equitable transformation of society. It’s what I really care about, which is why I was trying to write music about it in this rock band. There are other ways of life possible for humans. Since I was a kid, I’ve felt like our dominant culture, here in the US and maybe broadly in the West, is exactly backwards to the way many human beings naturally function, and that it’s killing us. I think criticism of that culture is vital to transformation. I’m naturally critical in a way that hasn’t served me well socially, but that I cling to nonetheless because it is constructive. It’s world-building. It’s meant to be collaborative. I’m like to criticize our society, and think about how to improve it, and I hope to connect with others who are similarly interested.