The hero of one of the most personal interviews posted here on IDIOTEQ, Portland artist Kyle Bates (aka DROWSE) has just released a new single in support of his new upcoming EP called ‘Memory Bed’, to be released digitally and on cassette August 5th via New York based label The Native Sound. DROWSE has recently premiered a music video and the first single from the EP, and announced a string of live dates for July! It’s so good to hear that Kyle have refined their sound a good deal without sacrificing his exceptional songwriting and knack for atmospheric, hard-to-label compositions. Great stuff. Watch and listen for yourself.
Following an EP and LP, “Memory Bed” was largely written and recorded using one microphone, a laptop and an acoustic guitar during a Summer spent working in Zamora, Spain. While traveling, Bates found himself returning to the dark sounds from around his home for inspiration–music of the Pacific Northwest such as Grouper, Mount Eerie, Velvet Cacoon, and Unwound. Organs and synths ooze from crackling guitars, noise groans in the distance and swallows voices; the sound mirrors the feeling of wandering unfamiliar landscapes, both outside and internally. Drowse also co-wrote two songs on Miserable’s “Uncontrollable” LP (“Stay Cold” and “Salt Water”).
“Memory Bed” plays with themes of detachment and memory and their relationship to the “self” from the perspective of someone who has suffered dissociative experiences. Heavily influenced by writers like Roland Barthes and Sarah Manguso, drowse works with ideas of “the self as text”, “making the personal public” and allowing space for the paradox to create new meaning. Maya Stoner of Portland band Sabonis lends her voice to every song and contributes lyrics to “Memory”. Her lyrics reflect on experiences with Bates; these lyrics are refracted in the song “Break”. “i” continues to explore the topic with the intent of all drowse recordings: to glimpse the unknowable self, to express the inexpressible through sound.
July 16 – Portland, OR @Analogue
July 20 – Eugene, OR @ The Wandering Goat
July 21 – Oakland @ the Night Light
July 22 – Sacramento, CA @ TBA
July 24 – Los Angeles, CA @ Part Time Punks
July 25 – San Luis Obispo, CA @ 2007
July 26 – San Fransisco, CA @ TBA
July 27 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Blue Lagoon
July 28 – San Jose, CA @ TBA
July 29 – Ashland, OR @ TBA
Aug 5 – Portland, OR @ The High Water Mark (EP Release Show)