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. 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 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.
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.
The new colored-vinyl special edition is limited to 100 copies and includes a flower or leaf from the cover art as well as a replica of the production journal Bates kept while recording Cold Air. Technical notes dissolving into ruminations, the production journal offers insight into the making and meaning of the album as well as an intimate portrait of the state in which it was made.