CD: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Some Loud Thunder

The first album was no fluke, says Emma Warren. Brooklyn's indie kings have refined their music and retained its joyful deviance

This time last year CYHSY were primed to burst out of their online cocoon with a self-titled debut, proving in one carnivalesque art-indie swoop that you didn't need to have a record deal or be vacuum-packed into skinny jeans (the most flattering descriptions of lead singer Alec Oundsworth's sartorial style pegged him in the geography teacher bracket) to be the year's hottest find.

Ten months and 300,000 record sales later - the first 25,000 of which were distributed from bass player Tyler Sargent's apartment - the East Coast five-piece seem like an established, if joyfully deviant part of the musical firmament. That they've released another album so fast is further evidence that the hype was justified, as are songs like the echoing, parallel universe Smiths classic 'Five Easy Pieces' or the barely-contained chaos of 'Satan Said Dance' which will be familiar to anyone who saw them play live over the summer.

The band, who named themselves after an obscure piece of Brooklyn graffiti, haven't leapt off in a new direction but have capitalised on the tension between Oundsworth's spiralling, just-about-to-fall-over vocals and the driving, zealous music that stops him from metaphorically sailing away into the ether.

This record is less defined by starry swoops and giddy sighs and is less overtly Talking Heads-influenced - this is a good thing. The fact that it was produced by Dave 'Soft Bulletin' Fridmann in plush NY studio Tarbox hasn't compromised their home-recorded sound at all: Some Loud Thunder still has you reaching for the connections at the back of your speakers to check they're working properly. And they still refuse to sign a record deal in the US, striking a blow for individualism and punk-style DIY. Makes the future sound interesting, doesn't it?

Download: 'Satan Said Dance'; 'Five Easy Pieces'


Emma Warren

The GuardianTramp

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