North of the Internet Interview

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“We spoke with Kyle Bates and Maya Kiko Stoner about the role of personal mythology in their work, finding presence in the fog of mental illness, personifying their fears, building invisible shields and crushing flowers in their hands.”

Maya and I spoke with North of the Internet, it was unquestionably the most unique interview I have done. They dug deep; I felt very vulnerable answering these questions:

Kyle Bates
Maya Stoner

“Klonopin” Music Video

“Klonopin” music video premiered by NPR.

The snow outside,
the pill I take to hide from life:
the way it blankets my mind,
it’s hard to describe

With slowing heartbeat,
the way it erases what’s beneath,
the way it thaws slowly,

Muddy human shape imprinted: shame.
Musty leaves and sadness,
my self-imposed detachment:
internal passion, eternal absence.

With slowing heartbeat,
erasing the self beneath.
When it thaws slowly
is that me?

I look down wistfully,
stumble around aimlessly,
nothings found in daylight,
it dims, I cover myself.

“Again, alive.”
“It snows every night.”

Vortex Magazine Artist to Watch

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Vortex magazine has recommended Drowse as a Portland artist to watch in 2018 with an awesome writeup on Cold Air and very welcome Codeine comparison. Read the article here.

“Throughout Cold Air, Bates keeps one foot firmly planted in the shadows of a harrowing, unspoiled self-analysis, and the other just outside of its casting. The results are stunning, and admittedly sometimes concerning, but the record as evidence of healing is ultimately a triumphant vivisection of the psyche.”
-Ryan J. Prado


“Cold Air” LP

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Listen to the track Quickening now on Tiny Mix Tapes.

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 Batesís anxiety resurfaced. He turned to Klonopin and alcohol to blanket the intrusive thoughts as a familiar depression began to settle in. It was during this time that Bates wrote and recorded Drowse’s second full-length album, Cold Air. Marked by fanatical self-exploration and expansive detuned instrumentation, Cold Air is the project’s first release for The Flenser.

Drowse is a peek inside the mind of Kyle Bates, the band’s only full time member. 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 Bates’s 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.

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The shimmering dissonance with hints of slowcore, post-punk, ambient and shoegaze that characterizes Cold Air will appeal to fans of Mount Eerie, Planning for Burial, and Have a Nice Life. Many of these songs feature vocals from the band’s creative partner Maya Stoner. Drowse is a complex and layered project set apart by its raw ambition.

Pre-order Direct
Pre-order from Throatruiner COMING SOON (France)

Track List:
1. Small Sleep
2. Quickening
3. (Body)
4. Rain Leak
5. Klonopin
6. (Bedroom)
7. Death Thought
8. Two Faces
9. Put Me to Sleep
10. Knowing
11. (Person)
12. Shower
Total running time :45:00

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unnamed2017 was one of the worst years of my life emotionally and in terms of mental health. I have never experienced such pervasive and immobilizing anxiety and rumination before. A lot of the people around me were going through similarly awful things, making it that much harder. As always, when things are dark creativity flourishes–I am proud to say I have recorded more music this year than any other. Big things are happening in the coming months and I look towards 2018 with determination, happy for bad memories to fade.