Artist to Watch

WXPN Radio

The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe ®

XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

World Cafe Archives

Join David Dye as he navigates the World Cafe through live performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

Folk Radio

Folk music radio streaming on the web; Americana, Roots Music, recordings, and stories from folk's best.
Listen Live

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: WXPN's February 2006 Artist to Watch

For a band no one outside of New York had heard before June 2005, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have certainly done well for themselves. Their success is even more impressive when you consider the fact that they aren't signed to a record label,

and, like other recent sensations The Arctic Monkeys from the UK, owe their popularity to word of mouth, internet buzz, and the quality of their music.

Clap Your Hands' music speaks for itself - so much so, in fact, that they don't see the need for a press kit. Go ahead and look, but the closest you'll get is an entry on Wikipedia. This is an anomaly in the music business, but it has certainly had a positive effect on music journalism, especially when reviewers attempt to distill lead singer (and Philadelphia resident) Alec Ounsworth's voice into a short blurb. Here's the most creative one: "a singular vocal presence that sounds like Paul Banks attempting to yodel through Jeff Mangum's throat (Pitchforkmedia.com)." Did you catch those name-drops?

Hipster references aside, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah can be described playing a nostalgic blend of new-wave influenced rock (think Talking Heads, not Enya), with nasally vocals that can alienate some, but which make this band unique and endearing. Their songs feature chugging drumbeats, shoegaze synths, and jangly guitars that are guaranteed to make you dance, or at least consider the possibility.

For independent music fans, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah has done everything right. Their name comes from graffiti in Brooklyn (as does the rest of the band); the album starts off with an odd-sounding weeded-out song to ensure that the listener is truly ready to make a commitment; like Arcade Fire, they have celebrity fans (actually, the same celebrity fans as Arcade Fire); and they've turned down record contracts because the labels can't offer them anything they can't do themselves. They are proof that, with good enough music, any band can climb to success. The funny name doesn't hurt, either.

Website: clapyourhandssayyeah.com

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY:
Dodge is a proud supporter of WXPN and XPoNentialMusic.org

Your Amazon Purchases Support WXPN

Forget trying to classify them and just listen: Railroad Earth’s Session, and “Katie Cruel’s” importance in music, tonight on...

For the last handful of weeks on Folkadelphia Radio, we’ve been focusing on a featured song, digging a little into its history,...Read More

The ever-evolving Kite Party will celebrate their new record on May 8 at PhilaMOCA

On May 6, Kite Party will unveil their second full-length album, Come on Wondering. On May 8, they’ll celebrate with a record...Read More

Singer-songwriter Abi Reimold celebrates her EP release this Saturday at Hong Kong Garden

Philly-based songstress Abi Reimold – also a photographer and occasional contributor to The Key – will celebrate the...Read More

DRGN King, Family Vacation, Big Tusk, Ghost Gum and more scheduled to play show on Record Store Day at Vinyl Revival...

If you were already having a hard time planning out how you were going to celebrate Record Store Day on April 19, things just got a...Read More

Redbull’s Sound Select pairs Philly artists Embarker and Chris Forsyth with Oneohtrix Point Never

Redbull’s Sound Select monthly feature, showcases local artists across the country is bringing some additional recognition to...Read More