Thursday 22 September 2011


Clap Your Hands Say Yeah recently released their third record, Hysterical. And here I am trying to put down a few words while I'm making sense of where it fits within my musical mind.

I don't even have the proper reference points to know where this music came from. What their influences are, or were. I know the dude who sings is compared to David Byrne. And well, it's indie rock I suppose, which I know a thing or two about. But I just know that, well, they've been a bit hit and miss with me in the past. In fact, mostly miss. Like I've kinda liked the sound, but there's only one track that stuck with me enough to get into heavy rotation which was Details of the War from their self-titled debut.

And as I sit here in my insomniac state, sipping green tea with hints of pineapple. (There's no chamomile left.) I'm just totally gripped by this new music. It reaches out to me, and together we transcend to, well, somewhere else. I don't know exactly where I am, but it's not unpleasant to be here.

There is this frailty to it, and it feels like it's inspired and not intensively labored over. Music for this moment, created in a different moment. There is beauty here, and well. If there is music that can instill in me the image of stark and flawed (but still beautiful) nudity, then this is it. A strong point for me is the opener Same Mistake, but even stronger is Misspent Youth. That is the track I'd recommend to anybody who wants to know what it is I see in this band, in this record. If that does nothing for you, you have my blessing to move on.

I guess, thinking of reference points again, I can hear a bit of what I like about Arcade Fire in this music. I think the record would stand or fall by whether you can stand Alec Ounsworth's (I just looked up his name for the purpose of not writing "the dude who sings" again) imperfect thin vocals, and well, I suppose whether you like indie rock with a DIY aesthetic, but yeah, mostly the voice. That's going to be the make or break element for most people. And well, I have a tendency to like frail desperate male voices. Maybe because I've experienced some frail and desperate moments in my life previously.

I know it's not for everyone, nor for every moment, and I don't have a desire to analyze it to death.
Bottom line: I love this album.

Hysterically good music is occasionally provided by bands with silly names.