4 To Watch: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Believe the Hype

Music Features Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
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Hometown: Philadelphia
Members [L-R]: Tyler Sargent (bass), Robbie Guertin (guitar, keyboard), Lee Sargent (guitar, keyboard), Alec Ounsworth (vocals, guitar) and Sean Greenhalgh (drums)
Fun fact: Greenhalgh moonlights as “Axl Rose” in Guns N’ Roses cover band Mr. Brownstone.
Why they’re worth watching: This unsigned band has sold out New York’s Bowery Ballroom and drawn such notables as David Bowie to its shows.
For fans of: Talking Heads, The Cure, The Feelies

With all the hype—from blogs, webzines and the like—surrounding Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, you might wonder if the attention will go to the band’s collective head. After discovering lead singer Alec Ounsworth prefers email interviews, you might even wonder if he’s become too big for his indie-rock britches.

“Besides lately having someone go to the bathroom for me, I don’t feel very ‘rock star’ at all,” Ounsworth types, presumably half-joking. “I’d rather not do phone or face-to-face interviews because there have been whole sentences fabricated or certain leaps of faith made on the interviewer’s part regarding what I’ve said.”

A bit paranoid perhaps, but to be fair, Ounsworth’s band has been on the receiving end of an overwhelming amount of press. All this, and CYHSY’s self-titled debut doesn’t even have a record label yet.

“I think that whichever A&R guy can grow the thickest moustache in the shortest amount of time is probably the one with whom we’ll sign,” Ounsworth deadpans.

The label that ends up getting the nod from the band will have a hot commodity on its hands. In addition to the band’s solid DIY debut, it already has some material ready for a follow-up, including the energetic tune “Satan Said Dance.”

“My hope is for the song to eclipse ‘The Twist’ in its dance-hall/sociological relevance,” Ounsworth says. “‘Do the Satan,’ right?”

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