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Light Mirror

by drowse

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    Pre-order of Light Mirror. You get 2 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
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    releases June 7, 2019

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Vinyl version of Drowse LP. Black vinyl and colored bone vinyl edition. Ships on or around June 7th.

    Includes digital pre-order of Light Mirror. You get 2 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    digital album releases June 7, 2019
    item ships out within 3 days
    edition of 1000  58 remaining
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      $17.50 USD or more 


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    shipping out on or around June 7, 2019
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Imposter Syndrome
Shower Pt. 2
Physical World
A Song I Made in 2001 With My Friend Who is Now Dead
Internal World
"Don't Scratch the Wound"


“Who are we when we’re alone?”

The simplest questions are often the most difficult to answer. In April of 2018, Drowse’s Kyle Bates left his home in Portland, OR for an artist residency in barren northern Iceland. Much of Bates' time there was spent in self-imposed isolation, giving him ample space to ponder the nature of solitude, and what it means to be "closed" or "open" to the world. Upon returning home, Bates worked obsessively. Maya Stoner, a longtime creative partner, sometimes came to sing, but recordings where mostly done alone. 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. Light Mirror, Drowse’s second album for The Flenser, is a subtle exploration of these contradictory attitudes and their consequences that can be heard as an artifact of sonic self-sabotage.

Light Mirror falls within a lineage of overcast Pacific Northwest albums (think Grouper’s Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill), but finds Drowse pushing past its slowcore roots. The album’s prismatic sound reflects experimental electronic, noise pop, black metal, krautrock, and more through Kyle’s distinct song-worlds. The lyrics are ruminations on the idea of multiple selves, identity, paranoia, fear of the body, alcohol abuse, social media, the power of memory, the truths that are revealed when we are alone, and the significance of human contact. They were influenced by filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky and poet Louise Glück, who both address self-contradiction. Mastered by Nicholas Wilbur (Mount Eerie, Planning for Burial) at the Unknown, the album showcases a striking maturation in sound. Light Mirror is Drowse’s most intimate and desolate work to date.


releases June 7, 2019

Written and recorded by Kyle Bates at NES artist residency in Skagaströnd, Iceland in April 2018 and at home in NE Portland from May to November 2018.
Non-recorded concepts and other materials completed during a residency at Studio Kura in Fukuoka, Japan in December 2018. The live drum sounds on “Between Fence Posts,” “Shower Pt. 2,” “Oslo,” and “Betty” are taken from a session at the Unknown in Anacortes, WA in March 2017 and were recorded by Nicholas Wilbur.

Maya Stoner sang and wrote melodies on “Between Fence Posts,” “Shower Pt. 2,” “Bipolar 1,” “Oslo,” “Internal World,” and “Betty.”

Taylor Malsey played violin on “Between Fence Posts” and played the drums that were then warped and recomposed on “Between Fence Posts,” “Shower Pt. 2,” “Oslo,” and “Betty.”

Thom Wasluck played the weighted drone on ““Don’t Scratch the Wound”.”

Sections of field recorded conversations with Andy and Betty Bates were used on “A Song I Made In 2001 With My Friend Who is Now Dead” and “Betty.”

Samples of Tuesday Faust’s voice taken from the Soon Asleep sessions were used on “Bipolar 1” and “Oslo.”

A cassette recording of Miles Avila-Crump can be heard on “A Song I Made In 2001 With My Friend Who is Now Dead.”

Fog Storm instruments built in collaboration with Jesse Keating were played on “Bipolar 1,” “Oslo,” and “Betty.”

Noah Johanson’s preamp was used to record most instruments.

Mastered by Nicholas Wilbur at the Unknown in December 2018.

The cover art is a photograph, January, by Norah Fuchs. September is on the back cover, April is on the inside, and December and June are on the record labels. All photos are of her conceptual piece, Unterschleif. More of her work can be viewed at

Design and layout by Maya Stoner and Kyle Bates.

Thank you to my father, mother, and sister –Maya Stoner, Taylor Malsey, Parker Johnson, Alec van Staveren, Kevin Gwozdz, David Fylstra, Paul Thomas, and Jesse Keating for helping bring Drowse to life at different points–Jonathan Tristan Tuite, Bryan Manning, Daniel Schultz, Mat Miller, Julio Anta, Kristina Esfandiari, and Thom Wasluck for trusting in my work–NES Residency and Studio Kura for providing space for me to experiment–Andrei Tarkovsky, Louise Glück, Peder Balke, Theodor Kittelsen, Nora Fuchs, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Marcel Proust, Sarah Manguso, Phil Elverum, Spiritualized, Darkthrone, Can, Red House Painters, Liz Harris, Neil Young, and Elizabeth Bates for providing points of reference on this album–all friends who have been less directly involved with Drowse but no less influential–the psychiatrists and substances that have closed me off or opened me up; as life continues I hope to face the world more openly.


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drowse Portland, Oregon



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Track Name: Between Fence Posts
Fence in Winter
and closed.

Four sides,
nothing enters--
just silent snow.

Trust that it won’t open up;
seasons change and it remains untouched.

Inside black
vines wither
as they glow.

You are the moonlight
shining in
between posts.

Trust that it won’t open up;
seasons change and it remains untouched.

The sound of death surrounds it all the time,
though flowers sometimes spring up on the vines.
Track Name: Bipolar 1
(The sounds heard while walking to an empty music school under the freezing sun in Skagaströnd.)

He’s not human,
a fire in black and white:
my internal uncanny valley,
fog around half formed memories.

Can you feel the lack of warmth in the sunrise?
All the fields are freezing up, reflecting so bright.

Bipolar 1:
definition is a mirror.
So I’ve been running half my life,
alone with voices in the night.

Can you feel their floating warmth in the night sky?
All the fields are swelling up, giving new life.

He believes in a god sometimes:
the truth beneath the world he finds
when he writes these songs--
fence posts to protect me.

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