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Radio Programmers Said That Lower Dens’ New Song “Young Republicans” Was “Too Controversial”

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: Performing artists Lower Dens backstage of the Ulla Johnson show during New York Fashion Week at 477 Broadway on February 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Lower Dens just announced their new album The Competition and shared its lead single “Young Republicans,” which paints the titular young Republicans as elitist cannibals who literally consume the flesh of those different from them. “In every generation/ There are those who just don’t fit in,” Jana Hunter sings. “We never asked to be this way/ Born without souls or blood or skin/ We’re young Republicans.”

Brooklyn Vegan reports that according to Lower Dens’ label Ribbon Music, radio programmers deemed the song to be “too controversial” to play on the air. Ribbon Music shared the following note about “Young Republicans” on social media:

Turns out, regardless of how immediate, not to mention relevant, we believe this song to be, a handful of select radio programmers (close partners, in fact) unanimously agreed this song was, based solely on its subject matter and title, ‘too controversial,’ ‘too hot,’ ‘a song we probably could not get behind.’ Naturally we (the label) considered pivoting songs in hopes of securing the faintest assurance of support. In the end however it was decided that this record is about competition, and the artist’s intention — as it should be — is to compete in getting the message of the music across first. Thank you Jana, for your steadfastness in this regard! This song is as important to its songwriters as it is to us, and as important to the album as it is to the timing that it is released. Further, Radio will always have time to redeem itself, and there will be plenty of songs to follow. To be fair, radio has to date never fully embraced the band, but to be dismissed without even being heard (in certain instances only) is something to push back against vs. give up on.

Jana Hunter confirms the story:

This article originally appeared on Stereogum.

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