Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: The Tourist (CYHSY, Inc.) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

The Tourist

Mar 03, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have always done things on their own terms and The Tourist, the band’s first release in three years and fifth overall, is no different. Although none of their subsequent recordings generated the same volume of buzz as their self-titled debut in 2005, the eccentric brand of indie rock that spawned a following then has been solid enough throughout the years to keep them in the game.

The offbeat synergy of melodic weirdness and unconventional dynamism is decidedly an acquired taste, mostly due to the nasally screak of head clapper Alec Ounsworth. Delivered with the jerky style of David Byrne and coupled with hippie warblings comparable to Michael Glabicki (Rusted Root), it can sometimes be a strenuous task to break through the raucous surface tension of the vocals to get to the refreshing originality of the music streaming below.

Thankfully, Ounsworth’s vocals are tamer on this latest effort and the songwriting has improved dramatically, resulting in a more mature sound both musically and vocally. The songs are slicker and less erratic with more intriguing instrumental breaks while retaining the band’s signature peculiarity.

A nebulous underbelly of guitars, keyboards, and electronics is mixed with upbeat and curious rhythms, shifting around the animated vocals forming songs that are unconventional, rhapsodic, and intellectually stimulating. The hazy background layers are peeled away with each listen to reveal some emotively surreal and grand melodies that slowly build to a climax that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Arcade Fire record.

Some patience and repeated plays may be needed to digest all the aesthetics offered on The Tourist, but any listener up to the challenge with a yearning to expand their musical palette will be rewarded with a terrific album full of playful and energetic indie rock. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 10/10


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