drowse

SXSW Presents: Floating Room

 In what is best described as "gray pop," the music Floating Room makes creates a sense of mellow desire; a longing manifested through their use of droned hums and haunting vocality. Floating Room is the musical partnership between Maya Stoner (ex-Sabonis) and Kyle Bates (Drowse, also featuring Stoner), though their partnership expands to much more than what started as bedroom pop recordings. In a romantic sense the couple's chemistry, aside from their collective experimental and artistic capacity, helps make Floating Room what it is. Tenderness isn't feared on either of their ends, and their propensity for support behind the instruments and in front of them is evident 

Sunless, the band's 2016 full-length debut on Good Cheer Records, married deep socio-emotional themes with paralyzing sounds. Stoner and Bates trade off guitar and synth duties as they channel part of makes Sunless (and the way they play together in general) beguiling - its vulnerability. Stoner sings about the transition from a bad relationship to a much better one, touching on abuse of power and misogyny along the way. For most, the subject matter is relatable, giving a welcoming sense to each of the tracks.

The openness presented on the album translates into Floating Room's live performances as well. They'll be touring with Alien Boy (which is led by Sonia Weber, Floating Room's sometimes drummer) and are playing four SXSW dates, so see them as much as you can.

   

Spreading that Good Holiday Cheer

Good Cheer Records has essentially taken over Portland. The somewhat new label has already given us damn near all of the most poppin acts in the scene right now and thank goodness the label will be giving us the gift of seeing a handful of them live for the holidays.

Originally planned for last week but moved to tomorrow due to weather, Good Cheer's takeover of Holocene consists of two stages and six bands worth of all ages action. Turtlenecked is doing a solo set, current Artist of the Month nominees Alien Boy will take to the stage like they're "At Goth Easter," and Cool American will make our ears dusty with their Dorito pop. A dark heaviness comes our way from Two Moons, but the ultimate noisiness will be coming from the label's breakout stars of the year drowse (who is subbing in for Mayhaw Hoons and the Outsiders) and Floating Room.

Just $7 gets you into the bash, with proceeds going to Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington, an arts-in-education organization.

s

   

Mood Music: Floating Room - 'Sunless'

One of our current Artist of the Month nominees, Floating Room, dropped their debut album Sunless last week. The album's release show is tomorrow and we couldn't think of a better way to set the tone of this rainy night and prep for tomorrow than running through the album on repeat.

Floating Room is made up of drowse's Kyle Bates, Maya Stoner of Sabonis and bassist Alec van Staveren, who when brought together manifest experimental existentialism rife with emotive intricacies that become evermore realized with each listen. 

Tomorrow's show is at Mississippi Studios, free and 21+ with additional sets by drowse and Hex Vision. You can listen to all of Sunless below, but why not come out and see it performed live?

   

KPSU and Lola's Room Team Up for All Ages

In the first of what is sure to be a successful slew, KPSU has teamed up with McMenamins Lola's Room for a series of all-ages shows that begins with a perfectly curated lineup promising strong hints of shoegaze, dream pop and a touch of 90's revival.

We have no doubt in our minds that Lubec will bring yet another good set, since the Portland vets have played and shared consistently great music for the last five years. Cosmic Debt, their September release, continues on in that same vein, but the other bands on the bill add an extra bit of intrigue to the show.

Alien Boy has done a lot with their poppy post punk in the last year and it's something that can't be missed, while Helens take on the genre is a bit heavier and gazed out. Floating Room, the newest endeavor musically bringing together drowse's Kyle Bates and Maya Stoner of Sabonis, could not offer a better representation of both bands' sound fused into one. Their debut Sunless is due out in just a couple weeks and sees the glum echo of comfort found in drowse's production while giving another platform for the signature gossamer tone Stoner's voice provides to Sabonis. 

Doors for this KPSU/Lola's Room show tomorrow open at 7pm, with music starting at 8pm. Tickets are only $5 will any Student ID and just $8. Get excited, there are a couple more KPSU and Lola's Room shows this Fall that are just as promising.

   

Curl Up in drowse's Memory Bed

A sonic landscape blanketed with dark overtones and glum ambiance, drowse's Memory Bed EP streches slightly further from is previous works of incredibly reverb-laden drone by continuing to capture the essence of mental turmoil, only now through a more minimalistic lens.

Using just a microphone, acoustic guitar and laptop, Kyle Bates (the man behind drowse) recorded the EP directly succeeding his soon asleep album, with each release acting as the conflict and the resolution to Bates' story involving his descent into certain medications. Memory Bed is the elucidation of confusion, pain and lost intimacy expressed through processed clamor.

As drowse, Bates has made good with using female vocals as yet another instrument. On Memory Bed, Maya Stoner of Sabonis lends the serenity of her voice and personal experiences shared with Bates through lyrics in all three tracks.

Without a doubt, the Memory Bed EP is more than just an conceptual collection of songs, but it's an emotive art form.

drowse had his album release/welcome back show last night, is having a short in-store performance today at Music Millenium and will be playing again later this month as part of Festicide