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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah [rank: 48]

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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

You've probably heard the story: talented kids from the East Coast self-release their debut album in 2005 - a wild scattering of poppy Talking Heads-infused fun - and within 7 hours, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah steals the hearts of the entire Pitchfork staff and become indie rock legends. Apocryphal? Perhaps. It may have been 9 hours. No fewer than three things are remarkable about CYHSY's rise to fame: [1] it happened quickly [2] it happened without label support [3] it demonstrated that this whole InterWeb thing can really make a band. But enough of the hype, what do they actually sound like and why exactly did they become so popular so as to make David Byrne their number one fan?

Well, let's take a moment and listen to "The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth". The Byrne-like vocal stylings of the lead singer, Alec Ounsworth, are almost immediately noticeable, and remind you that a slurred, high-pitched delivery can actually be quite enjoyable. This meandering voice combines with a driving guitar and drum line that challenges the listener to remain still. Hell, some might even call it danceable (for those indie rockers who would actually consider such an activity). Time will tell how much of an impact CYHSY eventually has on the indie rock landscape, musically or financially. Whether directly attributable to their success or not, many other bands have since found an audience online, without the promotional efforts of a label, major or otherwise.


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