On his debut LP Heartland, young Portland producer Dylan Stark utilized thousands of samples from “video games, children’s television programmes, Pokemon, trees growing, glaciers retreating, choirs from the Melanesian islands, the US womens cheerleading championships” and other unlikely sources to create massive, highly emotional, and often cathartic dance music. There is a celebratory vibe to the record, which is embodied by the the euphoric, glowing tropical swells of tone-setting lead single “Shelter“, and its vibrant visuals, which Stark shot and directed. He tells us about the song/vid over email:

“Shelter was the first track that came together when I was working on ‘Heartland’, it was the song that really set the tone for the whole album. I wanted Shelter to play between this racing, nervous feeling and a sense of serene confidence. The first build of the song is filled with a lot of uneasy, clattering drum work so that when it eventually snaps into a very sparse half-time drum beat there is a weighty sense of arrival; like confidently planting your feet on solid ground.

The video mirrors the shifts in the song and switches focuses back and forth between a larger view of nature and a more micro, focused view of the teeming life within those natural surroundings. We had a lot of fun doing a whole slew of elementary school science experiments – like growing crystals or making flowers glow in the dark – and then filming them up incredibly close with a macro lens. The goal was to create textures and colors that almost seemed unreal but were really these simple natural things seen in extreme detail.”

Heartland is out April 7 on London’s Civil Music. Artwork by Sandy Dooley. You can watch an album teaser here.

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This album fuses the industrial chug of their earlier efforts with a sleeker, brighter sound palette which evokes the aspirational fizz of the eighties so-cal dream to ominous effect. Damon edge as prisoner in a Michael Mann film which never ends. — Nate Nelson, Lower Dens

[more Lower Dens x gorilla vs. bear takeover posts can be found here]

  • No Hollers

Escape from Evil, for me, is our most spiritual album, and one of its themes is coming to a place of acceptance of one’s own self-perpetuating pain, and finding new tools over the course of life that enables one to do so. This piece held me in its loving arms during a period in which nothing else offered respite, it is a safe space for anyone who cannot sleep. — Geoff Graham, Lower Dens

[more Lower Dens x gorilla vs. bear takeover posts can be found here]

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Together they made albums like U2’s Unforgettable Fire that are the gold standard for tone and economy. That album in particular works as well as it does at least in part because of circumstances of restriction. They were working without a lot of “tools”, according to Lanois, and it made them create something wholly new. Along with The Smith’s Louder Than Bombs, Unforgettable Fire was my primary musical touchstone during writing. Both of these I could remember in their entirety from my childhood. — Jana Hunter, Lower Dens

[more Lower Dens x gorilla vs. bear takeover posts can be found here]

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Lower Dens‘ beautiful new record Escape From Evil is finally out today on Ribbon Music, and to commemorate the occasion, we’ve invited Jana Hunter and the band to take over the site for the day. So stick around and get deep with the band, and stay up on all of their posts HERE. And if you haven’t heard the record yet, this is a great starting point: lead single “To Die in L.A.” is available for free download here.

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