Songs We Love: Clay Rendering, 'Maps On The Floor' The grand instrumental music that Wolf Eyes founder Mike Connelly now makes with his wife Tara sounds like lost scores in search of epic films.
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01Maps On The Floor

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Songs We Love: Clay Rendering, 'Maps On The Floor'

Songs We Love: Clay Rendering, 'Maps On The Floor'

01Maps On The Floor

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/448993094/448993820" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Buy Featured Music

    Song
    Maps On The Floor
    Album
    Snowthorn
    Artist
    Clay Rendering
    Label
    Hospital Productions
    Released
    2015

    Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Clay Rendering's new album, Snowthorn, is out Nov. 5. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Clay Rendering's new album, Snowthorn, is out Nov. 5.

Courtesy of the artist

Clay Rendering, Snowthorn (Hospital Productions) Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Mike Connelly has spent most of his musical life in the land of dissonant noise, primarily with his spectacularly cacophonous Kentucky-based trio Hair Police. But there's often been an undercurrent of drama beneath the din, especially during his seven-year stint in the pounding, industrial-tinged Michigan group Wolf Eyes.

That drama steps to the fore in the music Connelly makes with his wife Tara, under the name Clay Rendering. Their first-full length album, Snowthorn, delves into gothic synth-pop, dark beat-heavy rock, and grand instrumentals with so much cinematic sweep, these could be lost scores in search of epic films.

Snowthorn's opener, "Maps on the Floor," is probably its most dramatic song. As a lone bass drum marches somberly in the background, as if part of a funeral procession, string-like synths gradually swell into huge waves. You can easily imagine this song underscoring the opening montage of a Gladiator-style historical drama, replete with long shots of rising suns and gathering armies.

What makes "Maps on the Floor" especially compelling is the way the music constantly ascends without ever actually peaking. The Connellys could've easily gone for the standard home-run shot by adding a massive, button-pushing climax. Instead, they let the simple, somber sounds gather momentum on their own, and the result is a song whose repetitions are worthy of being heard over and over again.

Snowthorn is out on Nov. 5 on Hospital Productions.

Purchase Featured Music

Buy Featured Music

Album
Snowthorn
Artist
Clay Rendering
Label
Hospital Productions
Released
2015

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?