Buzz is a fickle thing, especially in the world of indie rock, and few artists are more experienced in its ups and downs than Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. It was over 10 years ago that the band’s debut self-titled album cut so piercingly through the muddled early aughts indie scene, demanding attention like few other debuts. Notoriety, as many bands have found throughout the years, is truly a double-edged sword. Success is certainly rewarding but it also leads to oversimplification, from bloggers and listeners alike, who make their new favorite band into whatever they want them to be, ignoring the artist themselves.
Ounsworth could have easily succumbed to the pressure that arises in the face of such success. He could have doubled down, he could have churned out album after album of fan service and perhaps he would have been more ‘successful’ because of it, but that’s not what make Clap Your Hands Say Yeah the band they are. Even today, the release day of the band’s fifth LP The Tourist, Ounsworth remain steadfast in his individuality. “We didn’t get in this business to acquiesce,” Ounsworth told me during a recent phone interview. Continue reading →