Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah performing in 2014
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Genres||Indie rock, indie pop|
|Associated acts||Uninhabitable Mansions, Radical Dads, Flashy Python|
|Past members||Sean Greenhalgh|
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.
The band, whose members met years earlier at Connecticut College, 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. Shortly after the release of their first album, they received attention from numerous MP3 blogs and a favorable review from Pitchfork Media, 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.
In October 2005, they were signed to Wichita Recordings in the UK. 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. In 2008, Lee and Tyler Sargent performed on James Lavino's score to the Alex Karpovsky film Woodpecker. The soundtrack also featured performances by Radiohead bass player Colin Greenwood.
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. 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".
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, along with Annie Hart from Au Revoir Simone. Guertin also began playing drums in another band, Radical Dads. Drummer Sean Greenhalgh produced records for a number of bands including Takka Takka, Conversion Party, Gabriel and the Hounds, Radical Dads, and Tom McBride.
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.  A music video for "Maniac" was made by Belgian director Pieter Dirkx. It was released on September 14, 2011. 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.
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." Lee Sargent also left the band after the July 7 show, converting the band into a duo.
On August 1, 2013, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah digitally released their EP Little Moments on their Bandcamp page. It consisted of four songs, two of which were to be included in a different form on their forthcoming LP, Only Run. Little Moments featured a new sound for the band that included a heavier reliance on synths and drum machines and fewer guitars. The band recorded the EP in Alec Ounsworth's home studio, mixing and mastering the EP themselves. Additionally, 500 10 inch vinyl EPs were put on sale on the band's Bandcamp page.
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. 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. Following the release of Only Run, Greenhalgh left the band, leaving Ounsworth as the only member of the band.
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.
On February 15, 2017, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah released their fifth album, The Tourist. The album is the first to feature Ounsworth as the only member of the band.
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 January 2021.
- Current members
- Alec Ounsworth – lead vocals, guitar, synthesizers, drum machine (2004–present)
- Former members
- Robbie Guertin – keyboards, guitar, backing vocals (2004-2012)
- Lee Sargent – guitar, backing vocals (2004-2012)
- Tyler Sargent – bass (2004-2012)
- Sean Greenhalgh – drums, percussion, synths (2004-2014)
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|2005||Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
|2007||Some Loud Thunder
|"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.|
- 2007: Live at Lollapalooza 2007: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (iTunes release)
|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|
|2014||"Coming Down"||—||—||—||Only Run|
|"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released|
- "Maniac" did not enter the UK Singles Chart, but peaked at number 35 on the UK Physical Singles Chart Top 100.
- "CC:online - MOBROC Leaves the Barn". www.conncoll.edu. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
- Cohen, Ian (June 23, 2015). "Musing the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah 10th Anniversary Tour". Pitchfork.
- Thompson, Paul (September 2, 2008). "Clap Your Hands Play Tuesdays, Warm up for New LP". pitchfork.com.
- Newell, Aaron (June 25, 2005). "Cokemachineglow review of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah". Cokemachineglow.com. Archived from the original on July 2, 2005. (includes mention of David Bowie sighting)
- "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, meet David Byrne". Brooklyn Vegan. August 10, 2005. David Byrne sighting at the Seaport Music Festival.
- "Wichita Recordings". Wichita Recordings. Archived from the original on 25 October 2005. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
- "The Great Buck Howard : Full Credits". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-07-13.
- "Soundtracked - "Woodpecker" by James Lavino". Retrieved 2015-04-14.
- "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Take Break, Not Breaking Up". Retrieved 2015-04-14.
- Stosuy, Brandon. "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Debut "Statues" For Jimmy Fallon". Stereogum. Stereogum Media. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "Uninhabitable Mansions". Uninhabitable Mansions. Archived from the original on 2015-07-21. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
- "Radical Dads". Radical Dads. Retrieved 2014-07-13.
- "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Announce New Album". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
- "Video: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – "Maniac"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
- Ian Cohen (2011-09-15). "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: Hysterical Album Review". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2020-03-19.
- "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Members Leave Band". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- ""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.
- "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – "Coming Down" (Feat. Matt Berninger)". Stereogum. 2014-04-01. Retrieved 2014-07-13.
- "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.
- "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - The Tourist". Pitchfork.com.
- Bloom, Madison. "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Announce Album, Share New Songs: Listen". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah". Billboard.com.
- "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah albums" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique / Lescharts. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
- "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah German Charts". irishcharts.de. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
- "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Irish Charting". irish-charts.com. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
- "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Italian Charting". Italian-charts.com. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
- Peaks in Scotland:
- "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah In Der Schweizer Hitparade". Hit Parade. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
- Main UK Chart Page: "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - The Official Charts Company". Theofficialcharts.com. 2017-03-29. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
- Mislabeled UK chart entry (Clap Your Hands Say): "Clap Your Hands Say - The Official Charts Company". Theofficialcharts.com. 2017-03-29. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
- "Chart: CLUK Update 24.09.201". zobbel.de. 2014-07-13. Retrieved 2014-07-13.
- "The Tourist". AllMusic.
- Peaks in Scotland:
- "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah UK singles". Music VF. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
- "Official Physical Singles Chart Top 100 - 14 August 2011 - 20 August 2011". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
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