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Cold Air

by drowse

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Dmitrij (amnesiacphlgm)
Dmitrij (amnesiacphlgm) thumbnail
Dmitrij (amnesiacphlgm) This is an absolutely sublime record. It stirs you up in the most beautiful and unsettling way – through all the pain, drowse have created something truly unique. Favorite track: Rain Leak.
Luuk Honey
Luuk Honey thumbnail
Luuk Honey A perfect record. A blissful blend of necessary dissonance and darkness filled with the warmth of a melodic hearth, burning glowing embers of sonic catharsis and purification. Convicted, passionate, artfully exploratory of realms and textures that meld in rapturously nebulous ways. Interwoven with segments of dreams, the album flows like a dream- wavering from one gentle feeling and tone into another of contrast and tenebrism. The quintessence of PNW Dreamy Art Pop Rock. More please!!! Favorite track: Shower.
charlie thumbnail
charlie this is how it feels to be tired and unable to fall asleep. massive drone/gaze/post-whatever waves wash over the entire album. Favorite track: Shower.
Dillon McKinnell
Dillon McKinnell thumbnail
Dillon McKinnell It feels so stripped down yet so technical at the same time. Favorite track: Klonopin.
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Small Sleep 02:21
"Grief, fear, sadness...a lot of fear."
Quickening 04:04
In your car, parked cold air flows through your mouth: the dream of a friend’s hand on your head growing cold. Death Thought surrounds me: not death untimely, a wasted life, the bad person quickening inside of me. “We taste anxiety.” So rain burn through my throat, bring Small Sleep, on you she floats. Withholding she holds me. “I’ll be where you’ve lost yourself.” “In your emptiness I swell up.”
(Body) 00:29
"He came up and said: “something’s wrong, something’s went wrong, Kyle’s not responding he’s not responding.” Then I came down there and you were just like staring straight ahead… So I just grabbed you, threw you in my car. I worked at the hospital so I knew all the codes to get in. I pulled up, I drove you there, and as we were driving there in the rearview I could see that your--your little body--you were starting to look up and to the right..."
Rain Leak 04:58
One way that you can calm the fear: say what you want to hear. “It’s raining again.” Drunk by my friend’s side, we watched my father open wide. “A branch that cracks in the wind.” Oh let it be known that I’m afraid. Oh let it be shown: Death Thought eats my days. White Noise across my chest, under my eyelids, there’s no rest. “Small sleep is too weak.” And I can “still feel the sting in my hand from when I hit” him: “A pipe that springs a leak.” Oh let it be known that I’m ashamed. Oh let it be done: Death Thought eat away. Dream kills Death, Death kills Sleep, Sleep kills Death, Death kills Dream. Dream kills Death, Death kills Sleep, Sleep is Death, Death is Dream. Oh let it be known that I’m afraid. Oh let it be shown: Death Thought eats my days.
Klonopin 03:47
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, revealing Muddy human shape imprinted: shame. Musty leaves and sadness, blame 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.”
(Bedroom) 00:50
"...friendships, my family, um...Try to not let my mind ruminate too much. At one point in my life my mind was ruminating too much and I had to get on some… ...neighborhood street. Then I came over and I asked your dad “where’s Kyle” and he said upstairs. So I went upstairs and you were standing naked in your bedroom with a knife in your hand. At first I didn’t see the knife ‘cause your back was to me."
Two Faces 05:46
Cold side of the pillow, marking on my cheek: loyal in my cold life so sadness doesn’t seep out I go to drink to warm my soul or whatever’s inside: frightened animal. When I’m cold I’m closed: someone broke my nose at night, blood ran through the valleys of my face. Looking through the mirror I couldn’t feel a thing: outside without meaning. The pillow’s warming now, most flip it around. I want to feel the heat pass right through my cheek; flow to ocean dark and swirling to thaw a self emerging. Face warm and yearning, sun and meaning filling everything and me with love for everyone: when I hurt others I drink spilling meaning so I can sleep. “Two faces have been shown in your reductive songs you want simplicity. Bipolar binary. Inside more selves are swimming, surfacing, it’s never ending.” I sat watching the leaves blow in the autumn breeze thinking of that baby we almost had. A self created me. I drink for times when life’s beneath is shown burbling up, bursting the self I’ve known.
You woke me up, placed me in small ribs firm and strong. Breathing in your breathy voice, I grew, we were bound. “Awake and alive caught inside your airy sound, I don’t want to get out.” Run fingers through short black hair. Put me to sleep. Death Thought far away, no one else does that to me. “Young and warm, your arms, they wrap around, I don’t want to get out.” “It's in the shape of your body around me.” It's in the way that your dog crawls in between. “The time we played guitar, Rose City park, we’re in it deep, it’s not a dream.”
Knowing 05:00
You’ll never know me without a seizure at age four: absent eyes, ambulance ride, life: a closing door. No, it doesn't work like that: we don’t lose ourselves in other people’s worlds. “We” is always “me” and you’ll never know. Sterile smell, fever state, the spirit’s sprawl across the floor. Brain that’s dyed, breakout of hives, grief for their first born. No, it doesn't work like that: experiences press heavy against life. I know that “we” is always “me” and you’ll never know. “Go toward the enormous absence of form that is sleep.” No, we don't grow closer: weighed down, honest face from others we all hide. I know, “we” is always “me” and I’ll never know. You’ll never know me if you haven't known the sound of paramedics in the house, carrying your father down: his slurry speech, his fearful eyes, half his face a drooping frown, your fearful heart and your relief to find he’s still around. “Go toward the enormous absence of form that is sleep” You’ll never know me if you haven't tasted tears over mother’s youngest sister and your best friend, it’s so clear: at all times, in every moment, death blows in the air she cries in soup, I lie awake knowing someday we’ll be there.
(Person) 00:38
"...and the meaning of everything, you were seeing meaning in everything. And then you just kept staying awake and staying awake and staying awake and finally we went up to your bedroom--and you weren’t yourself you know? It was like a terrifying feeling as a mother like you don’t know this person, terrifying. And we went upstairs and finally your dad said… My mind was very powerful, I was like looking down, I was floating up looking down. And I actually felt very spiritually very strong."
Shower 08:47
Two faces lit by candlelight speaking over food and drink, and drink, and drink, and drink’s insight. I’m the self I want to be, a city that’s not home, no other squirming around in me. Feel myself open up wide, beautiful, you sit across. Out spills that story: I’m broken In tale of loss of self I hide. (“You’ve been here before.”) Getting drunker, edges blur, look up, black sky: “You are one mind creating night. Across from you is everyone, and of course you are going to die, and this will fade, but that’s alright. There’s no light but you will see:---” ---Smell of salt in air, of sea, wakes me from my solipsistic, narcissistic reverie. Clinging to things I can't express, I suggest we leave. As they fade we walk up the street. We take a shower to cool off, warm steam of bodies rises up. Away it floats, a person cloud right through the window. The smell of soap and hair rising above the city, meshing with the dark air: all the other human clouds, unanswered prayers. “Alive in your memory, living in the air when you die is it still there?”


"Why am I afraid of my own thoughts?"

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.


released March 9, 2018

Written and recorded by Kyle Bates at home in NE Portland and in a basement in SE Portland from July 2016 to March 2017.

Maya Stoner sang and wrote melodies on “Quickening,” “Klonopin,” “Two Faces,” “Put Me to Sleep,” “Knowing,” and “Shower.”

Taylor Malsey sang on “Rain Leak,” played violin and wrote melodies on “Death Thought” and “Shower,” and created drum loops for “Put Me to Sleep.” His cassette recorder was used on many aspects of the recording.

Cut up sections of an interview with Kathy Kroeger were used on “(Body),” “(Bedroom),” and “(Person).”

Alec van Staveren played electric bass and wrote melodies on “Quickening,” “Rain Leak,” “Put Me to Sleep” and “Shower” and played double bass on “Knowing.”

Kevin Gwozdz wrote and played the synth parts on “(Body),” “(Bedroom),” and “(Person)” on a Yamaha Portasound.

Hadley Bates helped record wind chime sounds used throughout the album.

Mastered by Parker Johnson.

The cover art is a photo of old, dead flowers that have belonged to Andrew Bates for over 24 years. The photo was taken by Maya Stoner.

Design, layout and other artwork by Maya Stoner and Kyle Bates.

Thank you to my mother, father and sister and Maya Stoner, Alec van Staveren, Kevin Gwozdz, Taylor Malsey, and Parker Johnson for your constant support in times of high anxiety and uncertainty–Jonathan Tristan Tuite, Julio Anta, Daniel Schultz, Nicole Colbath, Mat Miller, Kristina Esfandiari, and Thom Wasluck for believing in and supporting my work–every psychiatrist who has seen me; life is narrowing as I age but my mind is in one place now.


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