Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah performing in 2014
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah performing in 2014
Background information
OriginPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
GenresIndie rock, indie pop
Years active2004–present
Associated actsUninhabitable Mansions, Radical Dads, Flashy Python
MembersAlec Ounsworth
Past membersSean Greenhalgh
Robbie Guertin
Lee Sargent
Tyler Sargent

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (often abbreviated CYHSY) is the musical project of American indie rock musician Alec Ounsworth. It was founded in 2004 and is based in Philadelphia and Brooklyn. Until 2014, the project operated as a band, with drummer Sean Greenhalgh being a member for its entirety. Keyboardist/guitarist Robbie Guertin and brothers Lee (guitar/vocals) and Tyler (bass) Sargent were also a part of the band from its inception until their collective departure in 2012. Their debut album, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, was self-released in 2005.


Early years[edit]

The band, whose members met years earlier at Connecticut College,[1] formed in the beginning of 2004 and played shows in Manhattan and Brooklyn. They are notable for achieving their initial fame and commercial success via the internet rather than through a record label.[2] Shortly after the release of their first album, they received attention from numerous MP3 blogs and a favorable review from Pitchfork Media,[3] who gave the band a "Best New Music" commendation. The ensuing demand for the album was so great that the band was forced to re-press the CD, as the initial production run was too small. They garnered even more press after David Bowie and David Byrne were spotted at some of the band's shows in 2005.[4][5]

In October 2005, they were signed to Wichita Recordings in the UK.[6] The band released their second album, Some Loud Thunder, on January 29, 2007, in the UK, and January 30, 2007, in the United States.

On September 18, 2007, Live at Lollapalooza 2007: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah was released on iTunes. It features the band's complete live set from Lollapalooza, professionally recorded on August 4, 2007. The band appeared in the 2008 film The Great Buck Howard.[7] In 2008, Lee and Tyler Sargent performed on James Lavino's score to the Alex Karpovsky film Woodpecker.[8]


On January 21, 2009, it was reported that CYHSY abandoned plans to head to the studio to record their third full-length album and would be "taking a break" while the band members pursued side projects.[9] The public hiatus was to take official effect after the band performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on February 13, 2009; however, on March 4, they performed a new song on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, titled "Statues".[10]

During the hiatus, Alec Ounsworth released his solo debut Mo Beauty in late 2009. Concurrently, Ounsworth released Skin and Bones, the debut album with his other band Flashy Python. Robbie Guertin and Tyler Sargent, meanwhile, played in another project called Uninhabitable Mansions,[11] along with Annie Hart from Au Revoir Simone. Guertin also began playing drums in another band, Radical Dads.[12]


May 2011 brought news of the third album, reassuring fans that they had not broken up. The band released Hysterical, produced by John Congleton, on September 12 in the UK, Europe, Japan, and Australia, and on September 20 in the United States. It was announced via a post on the band's official website with a video of the band rehearsing a few new songs from the album in the studio. A vinyl reissue of a remastered edition of the first album, released on June 14, 2011, was also announced. [13] A music video for "Maniac" was made by Belgian director Pieter Dirkx. It was released on September 14, 2011.[14] Unlike their previous two albums, Hysterical was not as well received by Pitchfork, however it did still chart in the U.S., France, and U.K.[15]

On July 3, 2012, an email from the group's website stated that Robbie Guertin was leaving to pursue other interests and to focus on his other band, Radical Dads. A subsequent email from the website dated July 6, 2012, stated that Tyler Sargent's last show with the band would be on July 7, 2012, as he was "currently in the process of forming a presidential exploratory committee for 2016."[16]

On December 31, 2013, the band announced via email the completion of their forthcoming album called Only Run with a release date of June 3, 2014.[17] The album was mixed by Dave Fridmann. A new single, "Coming Down", was released via SoundCloud on April 1, 2014. The track features vocals from The National's Matt Berninger.[18]

On May 13, 2015, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah announced they would be re-releasing their 2005 debut self-titled album on CD and vinyl for its 10th anniversary, which will coincide with a North American tour. The album was released on June 2, 2015, and came with a 12-track cassette of solo acoustic recordings.[19]

On February 15, 2017, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah released their fifth album, The Tourist.[20]

In October 2020, the band released two new singles: "Hesitating Nation" and "Thousand Oaks". Both will appear on the band's sixth album, New Fragility, which is set for release in February 2021.[21]

On January 29, 2021, the band released its sixth album, New Fragility.[22]


Current members
  • Alec Ounsworth – lead vocals, guitar, synthesizers, drum machine (2004–present)
Former members


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
US Indie
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  • Released: June 28, 2005 (US)
  • Label: Wichita
16 29 45 66 11 52 19 95 26
Some Loud Thunder
  • Released: January 30, 2007 (US)
  • Label: Wichita, V2
47 2 35 75 88 23 40 45
  • Released: September 20, 2011 (US)
  • Label: V2
122 20 [A] 180 198
Only Run
The Tourist
  • Released: February 24, 2017[34]
  • Label: CYHSY
New Fragility
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

Live albums[edit]



Year Title Peak chart positions Album
2005 "Is This Love?" 41 59 74 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
2006 "In This Home on Ice" 49 68
"The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth" 67 149
2007 "Satan Said Dance" Some Loud Thunder
2011 "Same Mistake" Hysterical
"Maniac" [B]
2014 "Coming Down" Only Run
"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released


  1. ^ Hysterical did not enter the Ultratop 200 Albums chart, but peaked at number 16 on the Flemish Heatseekers chart.[33]
  2. ^ "Maniac" did not enter the UK Singles Chart, but peaked at number 35 on the UK Physical Singles Chart Top 100.[38]


  1. ^ "CC:online - MOBROC Leaves the Barn". Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  2. ^ Cohen, Ian (June 23, 2015). "Musing the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah 10th Anniversary Tour". Pitchfork.
  3. ^ Thompson, Paul (September 2, 2008). "Clap Your Hands Play Tuesdays, Warm up for New LP".
  4. ^ Newell, Aaron (June 25, 2005). "Cokemachineglow review of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah". Archived from the original on July 2, 2005. (includes mention of David Bowie sighting)
  5. ^ "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, meet David Byrne". Brooklyn Vegan. August 10, 2005. David Byrne sighting at the Seaport Music Festival.
  6. ^ "Wichita Recordings". Wichita Recordings. Archived from the original on 25 October 2005. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  7. ^ "The Great Buck Howard : Full Credits". Retrieved 2014-07-13.
  8. ^ "Soundtracked - "Woodpecker" by James Lavino". Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  9. ^ "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Take Break, Not Breaking Up". Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  10. ^ Stosuy, Brandon. "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Debut "Statues" For Jimmy Fallon". Stereogum. Stereogum Media. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  11. ^ "Uninhabitable Mansions". Uninhabitable Mansions. Archived from the original on 2015-07-21. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  12. ^ "Radical Dads". Radical Dads. Retrieved 2014-07-13.
  13. ^ "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Announce New Album". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
  14. ^ "Video: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – "Maniac"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
  15. ^ Ian Cohen (2011-09-15). "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: Hysterical Album Review". Retrieved 2020-03-19.
  16. ^ "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Members Leave Band". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  17. ^ ""Coming Down" - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah ft Matt Berninger [SoundCloud Audio". Zumic. Archived from the original on 2014-04-01. Retrieved 2014-07-13.
  18. ^ "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – "Coming Down" (Feat. Matt Berninger)". Stereogum. 2014-04-01. Retrieved 2014-07-13.
  19. ^ "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah 10th Anniversary album". Never Enough Notes. Never Enough Notes. Archived from the original on 15 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  20. ^ "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - The Tourist".
  21. ^ Bloom, Madison. "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Announce Album, Share New Songs: Listen". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  22. ^ Subscribe. "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - New Fragility | Reviews". Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  23. ^ a b "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah".
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah albums" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique / Lescharts. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  26. ^ "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah German Charts". Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  27. ^ a b "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Irish Charting". Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  28. ^ "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Italian Charting". Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  29. ^ Peaks in Scotland:
  30. ^ "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah In Der Schweizer Hitparade". Hit Parade. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Chart: CLUK Update 24.09.201". 2014-07-13. Retrieved 2014-07-13.
  33. ^ " - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Hysterical". Retrieved April 12, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  34. ^ "The Tourist". AllMusic.
  35. ^ "New Fragility by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah". Apple Music. Retrieved January 29, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  36. ^ Peaks in Scotland:
  37. ^ "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah UK singles". Music VF. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  38. ^ "Official Physical Singles Chart Top 100 - 14 August 2011 - 20 August 2011". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 26, 2020.

External links[edit]