Drowner is a band from Houston, Texas whose powerful, oceanic and atmospheric sound draws on influences as varied as shoegaze, post rock, noise pop and dream pop, as well as bands like The Cure, R.E.M., My Bloody Valentine and This Will Destroy You. Drowner is Darren Emanuel on guitar/drums/keys, Sean Evans on guitar, Mike Brewer on bass and Anna Bouchard on vocals.
Drowner began as a side project of Darren Emanuel (Swimming In, Apples to Earth). Darren’s interest in the way the guitar was being used in both a resurgent shoegaze scene and some of the post rock music happening in Texas and elsewhere led him to start writing demo tracks to test some new guitar sounds and effects pedals.
The early tracks had a vast and soaring, yet deep and melancholic, feel owing to the confluence of piano melodies, heavy use of the Roland Space Echo and guitars drenched in fuzzed-out reverb.
In 2010, Darren invited longtime friend Anna Bouchard to write words and vocal melodies for some of the demos. Anna’s deep lyricism and distinctive harmonies proved to be the perfect match for Darren’s expansive instrumental arrangements and Drowner was born.
The duo began by sending tracks back and forth, writing for what would become their self-released EP (2011). Later that summer, they released a two-track single, Here/This (2011), and caught the ear of burgeoning indie label Saint Marie Records. SMR reissued the EP and two-track single in 2012, together with an all-new track and two remixes as Drowner’s self-titled expanded EP (2012).
With a plan to write and record a full album, Drowner extended their lineup to include Mike Brewer on bass and Sean Evans (Rosemary Asylum) on guitar and spent the next several months writing and recording all new songs along with friend and drummer Ron Rushing (Casino, Inner Lights).
With the release of “You’re Beautiful, I Forgive You,” the band’s first proper full-length album, in August 2013, Drowner continues to explore the power of music to overwhelm and transcend, creating what the 405 calls “gigantic, impassioned shoe gaze music” that is “sonically breath-taking.”