Drowse, moniker utilized by Portland-based musician Kyle Bates, has resurfaced with a new chapter in the project’s emotionally brutalizing, musically fearless narrative. Following up his acclaimed sophomore LP Cold Air, Bates has announced the forthcoming release of Light Mirror. The album drops on June 7 (The Flenser.)
Light Mirror revolves a question that’s simply stated, but emotionally complex: “Who are we when we’re alone?” In April of 2018, Drowse’s Kyle Bates left his home in Portland, OR, to pursue an artist residency in barren northern Iceland. Mostly in self-imposed isolation, Bates pondered the nature of solitude, and what it means to be “closed” or “open” to the world. Upon returning home, Bates worked obsessively and alone, save for collaborating with Maya Stoner, his longtime creative partner. The dichotomy of his Icelandic musings materialized in a very real way as he neglected his personal relationships in favor of his art. While he was confronting his life-long fear of intimacy, and reconciling himself to a diagnosis of Bipolar 1, Bates found that the means he employed to conquer these obstacles—self reflection through art—carried with them an equal measure of misery.