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Album Review: Soon Asleep by Drowse

Drowse, the musical pseudonym of Kyle Bates a Portland OR based musician, released his new album soon asleep last week, and it’s a must listen for anyone with even a passing interest in expansive, dark and introspective experimental music. Bate’s background may be rooted in noise rock and metal, yet soon asleep is a different beast completely.

We reviewed previous EP songs to sleep on last year, which detailed his near suicide and life on medication, and while you’ll be able to notice similarities and perhaps consider this as the ‘next chapter’ soon asleep focuses more upon songwriting and structure.

‘Melt’ is a quiet opener with hunting waves of synths conjuring up a sense that you’re entering a rabbit hole of melon collie. ‘meaning’ is a bigger beast with blistering guitars and a more abrasive sound, by no means an easy listen; it evokes a feeling of mania and fractured voices. ‘(you)’ is a track built upon emotion, the processed guitars and synths create a world somewhere between real life and your dreams. It has the sound of a self medicated mind, yet it hits you in an emotive way that will stand up and take notice.

‘awake’ throbs and hums as synths and guitars swallow each other like some kind of psychedelic monster. ‘something’ is another treat. There’s some kind of madness to the song writing that makes a song that on the face of it is a challenge to listen to so utterly compelling and enthralling. The bassline and almost post-punk style guitar work pulls you in while the processed beat and synths create a haunting and sinister backdrop. ‘returning’ is the most accessible track and abandons the melancholia creating a feeling that you’ve come out the other end OK and can fight another day.

soon asleep is a challenging listen, by no means for the faint hearted. It’s a deeply personal, and at times haunting album. Challenge yourself and give it a spin.
AD Rating 7.5/10

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