Friday First: “Change Course” by NZ-based Claypipe

This week’s Friday First features an exclusive track from the New Zealand-based noise/drone/pop duo of Antony Milton and Clayton Noone, aka Claypipe. Drone and Pop aren’t two genres we normally see listed next to each other, but listening  further into A Daylight Blessing, which will be released on March 3rd on MIE Records, you’ll hear why. Friday First is a weekly column premiering brand spanking new releases from local, national, and international bands.

A  Daylight Blessing, a 7-song LP, which you can preview in their promo video above, is a mild soundscape of mixed media- gentle guitar chords mingling with far-off air horns, with beats made by fumbles and crackles. It’s enveloping and zenned out, meshing found noises with murmuring vocals  atop a loud (yet) silent backdrop. This promo is just a whisper of the noise that the album makes in its entirety, but also a good introduction to the soft, unique, tinkering sound of Claypipe, whose music makes you feel like an eavesdropper into a private realm of memory, the soundtrack to an unknown film crackling into a tape recorder.

Today we premiere track 5, “Change Course,” one of the most accessible on the album, starting with soft vocals cooing. The whole song has an aquatic sound and is able to transport you, perhaps to a lake on a gray, rainy day, the repetitive guitar lapping like waves on a shore.  Claypipe’s music is fully grounded in nature, in fact, their musical methodology “frequently involves taking battery powered and acoustic instruments outside- to a grassy hillside, stream edge.” Halfway through the song, it takes an emotional shift, turning over to quiet plucks of harps,a garbling engine-like overtone of the background noise layered atop a human heartbeat thumping confidently. Claypipe’s minimalist music balances an element of pleasant, bittersweet nostalgia with a darker, slightly sinister undertone, dry melodies that seem creep under your skin. We hope you enjoy the rare track, an exclusive delivered to us as a tip via Northern Spy Records.

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