Portland experimentalist Kyle Bates dropped Soon Asleep, his latest solo album under the name of Drowse, earlier this month through the APNEICVOID label. The press release states the indie folk- and black metal-tinged dark ambient album "addresses forms of self-imposed seclusion, absurd rumination, and the spaces in between dreams and life." Yet watching the video for the album's opening track, "Melt," a more personal meaning seems apparent, stemming from his near-suicide and subsequent foray into prescription drugs.
Directed by a fellow Portland resident and an A/V student at the Pacific Northwest College of Art by the name of Victoria Ayers, the video shows flickering images of pills, a blood splattered face, and a woman struggling in a milk bath that hint toward the themes of prescription drug use and suicide prevalent on Bates' recent releases.
As the song twists from a barrage of static noise to a dilapidated shoegazey crescendo with ominous synth, we get offbeat acoustic guitar strums, canned percussion, and a warped interplay of Bates and Tuesday Faust's breathy vocals. There's also the sound of wolves recorded in the area of Squamish, BC, buried in the texture, as the visuals move to focus on rather soothing swirls of blue and close-ups of dew-laden flowers. -- Exclaim!
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