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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah performing in 2014
Background information
Origin Philadelphia, PA, Brooklyn, New York, United States
Genres Indie rock; Indie pop
Years active 2004-2008
Labels Wichita,
Associated acts Uninhabitable Mansions, Radical Dads, Flashy Python
Members Alec Ounsworth
Past members Sean Greenhalgh
Robbie Guertin
Lee Sargent
Tyler Sargent

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (often abbreviated CYHSY) is an American indie rock group based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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.[1] 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 repress 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.[2][3]

On October 3, 2005, they were signed to Wichita Recordings in the UK.

The band members live in Boston and Philadelphia.

The band released their second album, Some Loud Thunder on January 29, 2007, in the UK, and January 30, 2007, in the United States. Alec Ounsworth has said that he plans to professionally record some of his older songs for a solo release before moving CYHSY onward.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah were one of the founding contributors to the Robbie Guertin.

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.[4]

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.[5]

On January 21, 2009, it was reported that CYHSY abandoned plans to head to the studio to record their third full-length album, and are "taking a break" while the band members pursue side projects.[6] 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 while concurrently releasing Skin and Bones, the debut album with his other band Flashy Python. Robbie and Tyler played in another project called Uninhabitable Mansions,[7] along with Annie Hart from Au Revoir Simone. Robbie also began playing drums in another band, Radical Dads.[8] 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 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.

On July 3, 2012 an email from the groups website stated that Robbie 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'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.

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.[9] 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.[10]


Current members
  • Alec Ounsworth – guitar, vocals, synths, drum machine (2004–present)
  • Matt Wong - bass, producer [11]
Former members



Live albums



  • 2005: "Is This Love?" (UK No. 74)[13]
  • 2006: "In This Home on Ice" (UK No. 68)
  • 2006: "The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth" (UK limited vinyl – 1500 copies) (UK No. 149)
  • 2007: "Satan Said Dance" (released 19 February)
  • 2011: "Maniac" (released as a free download on 25 July)


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Newell, Aaron (June 25, 2005). "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah"Cokemachineglow review of .  (includes mention of David Bowie sighting)
  3. ^ "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, meet David Byrne".   David Byrne sighting at the Seaport Music Festival.
  4. ^ "The Great Buck Howard : Full Credits". Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ "Uninhabitable Mansions". Uninhabitable Mansions. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  8. ^ "Radical Dads". Radical Dads. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  9. ^ Coming Down" - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah ft Matt Berninger [SoundCloud Audio""". Zumic. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  10. ^ "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – "Coming Down" (Feat. Matt Berninger)". Stereogum. 2014-04-01. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  11. ^ "Matt Wong (Mattgwong11) on Twitter". Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  12. ^ "CHART LOG UK: NEW ENTRIES UPDATE : COMBINED SINGLES (200) : Chart Date: 24.09.2011". Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  13. ^ Roberts, David (2006).  

External links

  • Official website
  • Alec Ounsworth website
  • Radical Dads website
  • Uninhabitable Mansions website
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