Drowse: Bipolar 1

  • Posted on
  • 15.5.19


Immersed in the beautiful melancholy that characterizes the entirety of his work, but this time taking a more experimental route through electronica, krautrock and extreme metal, Bipolar 1 becomes the second piece revealed off Light Mirror, the upcoming album by Kyle Bates' Drowse project.

Conceived in northern Iceland, and featuring the contribution of Bates' longtime creative partner, Maya Stoner, Light Mirror, comes out June 7th, 2019 via The Flenser.

Through an elaborate and interesting comment, the artist reveals a lot about the creative process behind Bipolar 1, and the song's intent: "This song came to me while I was re-reading my medical chart and thinking about my bipolar 1 diagnosis. I have always resisted this diagnosis and I refused to take Lithium after the first couple of years. I resist it because I am scared of it. It fits too perfectly.  As a result, I never sleep very well and sometimes have paranoid delusions ('voices in the night') that I hide from others.

"Bipolar 1 is largely about the manic self of bipolar disorder, a version of Kyle that feels totally alien to me when I try to remember periods of life when he was dominant. The manic side of me finds 'god' –meaning in life– in music, but the depressed side sees this as a delusion; Drowse songs are identified as 'fence posts:' when I write these songs I feel safe because I am creating my own world, in turn working on this music builds a fence around me that closes me off further from other people."

The song comes with an exquisite visual accompaniment, directed by Bates himself: "The video was initially utilized–with Light Mirror in mind–for my installation work, Second Self, which was developed and exhibited during a residency at Studio Kura in Fukuoka, Japan. It was created through my practice of internal mapping, in this case cataloging physical things my unconscious self was drawn to while walking. Visual patterns emerged as hours of footage were edited down to this four minute piece. The footage was ripe with images of (self) deception–smoke and mirrors."












Video directed by Kyle Bates

Cover art by Nora Fuchs

Artist photo by Matthew Vrvilo


Drowse — On Tour:
June 13  Portland, OR @ Black Water Bar (Record Release)
July 12  Seattle, WA @ Highline *
July 13  Portland, OR @ High Water Mark *
July 15  Eugene, OR @ Old Nick’s *
July 16  Oakland, CA @ Elbo Room *
July 17  Los Angeles, CA @ Lexington *
July 18  San Diego, CA @ Space Bar *
July 19  Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge *
July 20  Albuquerque, NM @ Gold House *
July 21  Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive *
July 22  Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records *
July 23  Boise, ID @ TBA *
July 24  Spokane/Olympia, WA @ TBA *

* w/ Elizabeth Colour Wheel



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