Drowse releasing ‘Cold Air’ this week (stream it)
Portland, OR's Drowse are the band led by Kyle Bates (the band's only full-time member), and they're releasing their new album Cold Air on trusty label The Flenser this week (pre-order). Bates made the album in his home, and most songs also features vocals by Maya Stoner, whose airy high-register sounds great with Bates' lower, sullen voice.
The first single/first proper song on the album (after an intro track), "Quickening," is some pretty well-executed My Bloody Valentine worship, but don't let that make you peg Drowse as just another shoegaze band. They change it up so many times throughout Cold Air, bringing in bits of Microphones-style lo-fi, ambient drone, slowcore, and just a tiny bit of sleepy doom metal towards the end. It should appeal to fans of MBV and The Microphones as much as to fans of Drowse's Flenser labelmates like Planning for Burial and Have A Nice Life. It's great stuff.
Cold Air was also inspired by some pretty difficult experiences. Here's an excerpt of the statement that comes along with the album:
After a severe mental breakdown, Kyle Bates of Portland OR's Drowse was prescribed a plethora of antipsychotic drugs to subdue his paranoia and suicidal ideation. Several unmedicated years later Bates’ anxiety began to resurface, and he turned to Klonopin and alcohol to blanket the intrusive thoughts. It was during this time that Bates wrote and recorded Drowse's second full-length album, Cold Air.
[...] Cold Air was painstakingly recorded over nine months in Bates’ home. The house itself appears several times on the album in the form of field recordings and background occurrences. Although Bates himself is a secular person, his lyrics were influenced by the religious writings of Anne Carson and Karl Ove Knausgaard, whose ruminations on death correlated with his own. Cold Air is an album that frames big picture ideas within intimate, often shame-ridden experiences: a nose broken while blackout drunk, a seizure followed by feverish hallucinations, a father’s stroke, the death of a close friend. Cold Air is the sound of the uncertainty beneath our lives surfacing.
A stream of the album premieres below.
Drowse's only upcoming show is a hometown release show on March 24 with Kyle Bates and Maya Stoner's other band Floating Room. Floating Room are also touring to SXSW.