PREMIERE: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah transform anxiety into pure pop on “Down (Is Where I Want To Be)”

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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah | photo courtesy of the artist
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah | photo by Michael Regan | courtesy of the artist

Aughties art-rock favorites Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are back in motion this winter, releasing their fifth LP, The Tourist, on February 24nd.

The project of the multi-instrumental Mt. Airy native Alec Ounsworth finds itself in reflective mode on this outing, though that’s certainly reflection with a generous helping of sonic positivity: jangling guitars, spacey ambient stratospheres, and simmering synthesizer pulsations accompany Ounsworth’s ruminations on personal upheaval, blame and mortality.

Today, we’re happy to bring you the second single from the LP, the intricate and progressive “Down (Is Where I Want To Be),” and the song’s very structure mirrors the stages of coping.

Opening slow and uncertain, the pensive instrumentation builds into a gloriously bright catharsis. Lyrically, Ounsworth seems to have a lot on his mind that he wants to get out, with references to uncaring governments and lucky streaks that come to an unceremonious end. As the instrumentation peaks, Ounsworth finds a Zen answer to it all:

I called upon a Buddhist monk
He said the trick is not to think, boy, leave it alone
Soon you will feel next to nothing
Humanity, catastrophe,
Alright, humanity, insanity,
I gotta believe that I’m doing alright . . .

“It’s a song about embracing a low feeling,” Ounsworth tells us via email. “Better to feel low than to feel nothing at all…”

The Tourist is available on Friday, February 24th — digital preorders are available here, via iTunes, vinyl pre-orders can be obtained here, and you can check out the track listing below, along with the band’s North American tour dates that kick off March 10th at Johnny Brenda’s. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Listen to “Fireproof,” the first single from The Tourist, here.

Tracklisting:
1. The Pilot
2. A Chance To Cure
3. Down (is Where I Want To Be)
4. Unfolding Above Celibate Moon (Los Angeles Nursery Rhyme)
5. Better Off
6. Fireproof (LISTEN HERE)
7. The Vanity Of Trying
8. Loose Ends
9. Ambulance Chaser
10. Visiting Hours

FULL NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES:
03.02.17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
03.03.17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
03.04.17 – New York NY @ Le Poisson Rouge
03.05.17 – Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
03.07.17 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
03.08.17 – Columbus, OH @ Skully’s Music Diner
03.09.17 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
03.10.17 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
03.11.17 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
03.12.17 – Omaha, NB @ The Waiting Room
03.14.17 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
03.15.17 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
03.16.17 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux
03.17.17 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
03.18.17 – Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt
03.19.17 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
03.21.17 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s
03.22.17 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
03.23.17 – Visalia, CA @ Cellar Door
03.24.17 – West Hollywood, CA @ Roxy Theatre
03.25.17 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah

04.18.17 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
04.20.17 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
04.21.17 – Austin, TX @ The Sidewinder
04.22.17 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (Upstairs)
04.25.17 – Ybor City, FL @ The Orpheum
04.26.17 – Miami, FL @ Gramps
04.27.17 – Orlando, FL @ The Social
04.28.17 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
04.29.17 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
04.30.17 – Nashville, TN @ Exit / In

05.02.17 – Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle
05.03.17 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle – Backroom
05.04.17 – Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry
05.05.17 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
05.06.17 – Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel

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