What started as a slow trickling of show-goers ended as a packed house at Johnny Brenda’s Friday night. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!’s sold-out, hometown show drew friends both old and new to the Fishtown venue. Despite opening band Stagnant Pools’ tight two-piece post-punk, the crowd remained small and lacked the enthusiasm of a Friday night.
But as soon as Alec Ounsworth and the rest of the band took to the platform stage at JB’s, all the pool players downstairs arrived ready to dance. It was obvious many friends and fellow-Philadelphians showed up to support CYHSY, after the recent release of their new LP, Only Run.
Even with the positive regard of the new tunes, the crowd could not be tamed during favorites off of their self-titled debut album from 2005.
Summer is officially here and we’re welcoming the warm weather with 5 awesome concerts throughout the month of June. Here’s a quick preview of what you can expect from each of these bands (and yes, some hail from Philly!)
Streets of Laredo @ Boot & Saddle, 6/4
At first listen, you may not be aware that New Zealand via Brooklyn five-piece Streets of Laredo are newbies to playing music. They come across so experienced and polished! Their 70′s inspired sound is indie, folk, and country pleasantly blended into catchy tunes that will be hard to get out of your head. Last year released two five-track EPs; Streets of Laredo Vol I and Streets of Laredo Vol II, and they have a handful of demo collections in their back catalog. Check out a video for “I’m Living” from Vol II, and get tickets and info on the show here.
Kins w/ Ryley Walker @ Boot & Saddle, 6/16
Australian quartet Kins have a unique vibe. If we had to place them somewhere, they would fall into an alt-electronic category but they maintain a cohesiveness of indie bands like Real Estate or Grizzly Bear. They like to say they “specialize in the sound of doubt, detachment and muted aggression.” After playing this year’s Bonnaroo, they will stop by Philly to give us a taste of their self-titled album, Kins. Tickets and info can be found here. Listen to “Mockasins” below, and check out their World Cafe Session recorded live at SXSW.
Stephen Thompson, writing about the album at NPR Music says:
Ironically, the factors that made Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s mid-’00s success seem fleeting — its indifference to the label system, its embrace of the Internet — helped inoculate the group against obsolescence. Rather than get dropped by a label at the first sign of waning public interest, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah took a break and then course-corrected: Singer released an eclectic solo debut (Mo Beauty) in 2009, other members stretched out via intriguing side projects, and the band returned in 2011 with a terrific third album, Hysterical.
Past reference points like still apply, but the new Only Run expands on Hysterical’s simultaneously soaring, jittery and joyful sound in surprising ways. Melancholy electronics seep through some of the new record’s best moments — in “Blameless” and “Beyond Illusion,” Ounsworth is backed by arrangements that recall mid-period — while prominent guests include Kid Koala (“Cover Up”) and, in “Coming Down,” ‘s Matt Berninger. For every briskly grabby, right-up-the-middle rush the band concocts, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah also finds a new way to deepen and vary its approach, in ways that reflect a relentless pursuit of invention and reinvention.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah play at Johnny Brenda’s on June 27th. Go here for tickets and more information.
With a new album coming next month, “East Coast” outfit Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have premiered a new video for “As Always” on Pitchfork. The clip, directed by David M. Helman, is just as dark in tone as the song is and follows actor Wil Daniels along a trajectory of late-night questionable decisions before a fateful action pulls him back to reality. It leaves Daniels’ character in a moment of reflection, mirroring the the over-arching theme of the album – frontman Alec Ounsworth has said Only Run is an observational piece dealing with a decade-long career in music and the assumptions, pitfalls and optimism that goe along with it. Only Run will be released on June 3rd and follows 2011′s Hysterical. Check out the video for “As Always” below and pick up tickets for the band’s June 27th date at Johnny Brenda’shere. Listen the record’s first single, “Coming Down,” here.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are releasing a new album on June 3rd, Only Run. The band is also doing a month long of shows with a stop in Philly on Friday, June 27th at Johnny Brenda’s. Below, listen to a new song, “Coming Down.” On it, CYHSY sound inspired and rocking hard. The guitar driven song jumps hard out of the gate with a lot of conviction, sounding a bit like early U2. A little more than half way into the song, The National’s Matt Berninger jumps to duet with Clap Your Hands’ lead singer Alec Ounsworth, their voices co-mingling together as they fade into a soaring guitar solo. Listen to it below.
Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah kicked off an intimate tour of fans’ living rooms last week by playing to an audience gathered in the apartment of Fishtown’s Sarah Myers. She applied to host via the Clap Your Hands website by sending in photos of her living room. Our contributing photographer Kate McCann reports that, in addition to the fifty paying audience members, Ounsworth’s wife and other friends were in attendance, sitting amongst strangers sitting on pillows. Check out photos of the show in the gallery below
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have announced a special New Year’s Eve show at the North Star Bar. The local rock outfit released a new EP this year calledLittle Moments, following up 2011′s Hysterical LP. Tickets and information for the 21+ show with special guests can be found here. Watch the band play “The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth” below.
Wesley Stace, better known by his moniker John Wesley Harding, just announced a fall tour to support his anticipated self-titled album coming out September 17th. Swapping the established stage name for his own, Stace mentions in his Wall Street Journal interview that this album portrays a more intimate feeling inspired by autobiographical accounts. Along with his headlining tour dates, Stace will also host a traveling version of his Cabinet of Wonders, featuring artists including John McCrea (from Cake), Alec Ounsworth (from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), and regular Cabinet collaborator Eugene Mirman. The World Cafe Live will welcome the celebrated author, NPR personality, and singer/songwriter October 3rd. Find more information and tickets for the All Ages show here. Listen to Stace’s single “Stare At The Sun,” off of his self-titled album below.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have released a new EP, Little Moments. The songs were recorded in lead singer and songwriter Alec Ounsowrth’s home studio. Two of the “A-sides” are from a forthcoming new album (coming out in January, 2014) and two are B-sides. They are available for streaming and to purchase below. CYHSY are playing the TLA on Thursday, August 1. Go here for tickets.
Still on tour in support of their 2011 release Mountaintops, Mates of State headlined Underground Arts last Thursday. Long known as a poppy indie rock duo, the band has toured as a four-piece since 2010, and backing players Kenji Shinagawa (guitar) and John Panos (trumpet, keys) fleshed out the new songs and embellished older moments dipping back to 2003′s Team Boo and beyond. On the other hand, Alec Ounsworth played an opening set of songs by his band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, but arranged as solo synthesizer and sound-loop pieces. Check out a gallery of images from the show below.