August 5, 2016 · NATIVE 030
Drowse is the work of Portland, OR artist Kyle Bates.
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.