On Wane into It (out November 11th), Kyle Bates’s songwriting and production have never been more lucid; sounds flicker as he sings with fragile intensity. The record, Drowse’s third for The Flenser, impressionistically distills loss, distance, mystery, prescription drugs, the preservation of memory via recording, and ambient anxiety through its titular act: to Wane into It, to disappear awaiting the next moon phase, water returning to sea before reemerging as a wave.
The big sounds on the album were captured in bedrooms, hallways, practice spaces, forests, and on highways throughout West Coast — vibraphones chime over black metal guitars, a mellotron drones under degraded samples, violins splinter against granular field recordings. In the process of documenting these aural moments Bates completed an MFA at Mills College, coloring the album with shades of avant-electronic and minimalist composition (Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, Maryanne Amacher, Sarah Davachi etc…). To realize this scope Drowse collaborated with Madeline Johnston (Midwife), Alex Kent (Sprain), Lula Asplund, a chamber ensemble and more.
Today, the album’s second single “Mystery Pt. 2” surfaces. Of the track, Bates comments: “Change and apprehension. Allowing negative segments of the past to scatter as ashes in the air. How much space is too much space for the self-isolationist? ‘Mystery Pt. 2′ re-examines themes from my previous album, Light Mirror. A sequel? It’s one of the most direct songs I’ve ever written, though listen closely and you’ll hear field recorded snippets of my life, organs, Moog synthesizer, Mellotron, distant sheets of metal vibrating, hidden voices—always a world beneath a world.”
In 2019, Drowse’s Kyle Bates set out to produce a self-recorded new album. Marked by moving across state lines, long-distance relationships, and deaths in the family, the following years proved to be metamorphic. Three years later, he’s emerged with Wane into It, continuing a distinctly Pacific Northwestern tradition of self-recording indie experimentalists (Grouper, The Microphones, Unwound’s Leaves Turn Inside You).
Pre-order Wane into It ahead of its November 11th street date here.