Premiere: Drowse's 'Memory Bed' EP Is a Beautiful Study of Detachment

The Portland shoegaze/drone artist explores the emotional reckoning in the wake of his experiences with antipsychotic medication.

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Aug 4 2016, 6:00pm

Drowse—the solo project of Portland drone/shoegaze artist Kyle Bates—has been captivating us for a minute now with his sonic world-building. His new Memory Bed EP marks a strong departure from his previous reverb-soaked work in favor of a single microphone, laptop, and acoustic guitar. The EP was written and recorded after the release of his last album, Soon Asleep, while he was traveling and working in Spain last summer, and reworked upon his return to Portland with Sabonis' Maya Stoner.

Soon Alseep explored Bates' experiences with antipsychotic medication, and Memory Bed goes on to tackle the spiritual reckoning in its wake. It's a heartbreaking study of detachment and intimacy imbued with all of the wonder, pain, and uncertainty of returning from an emotional hiatus, like the aural equivalent of blood rushing back to a sleeping limb.

"I had just released Soon Asleep, and was in a fuzzy headspace," Bates explained, via e-mail. "This was amplified through the reflection that comes with being far away: looking through a gray cloud at my distant life, asking 'Who am I, who is Kyle Bates?' Maya wrote lyrics for the song ‘Memory’, trying to help me answer my question. I wrote lyrics for ‘Break’ questioning her answer—holding myself accountable for the negative parts of my self. This is the question we spend our lives answering and on the song ‘i,’ I chipped away at it the best way I know how: sound."

Listen to the premiere of Memory Bed and pre-order it below.

Drowse's Memory Bed EP is out August 5. Order it on Bandcamp.

Andrea Domanick is the West Coast Editor of Noisey. Follow her on Twitter.