Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Is This Love?

Bill Cummings 05/12/2005

Rating: 4/5

There's a buzz surrounding Brooklyn five piece Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, in New York they packaged and sold thousands of copies of their debut album from their bedroom. In the UK, many have flocked to see them on their recent tour given the word of mouth hype that has surrounded their sounds. Now they are set to release their new single "Is This Love?" (on limited 7" only) and it will probably raise their growing profile further in the UK.

Well how does it sound? Waves of melodic tuneful trickery (jangling guitars, organs, stroking xylophones, and even a triangle!) pour forwards over a twisting psychedelic melody delivered by the cracked David Byrne-esque vocals of front man Alec Ounsworth. Like the poppier side of the Cure, here Clap Your Hands Say Yeah manage to create joyful sounds that are given a bittersweet taste by the lovesick lyrics. ("I don't even make a sound/when I come around oh/And you say I'd be better off dead this I know/But its no use hiding this pretty head in the ground/And is this love?”) For reference points I suppose you could look at the angular indie pop of Pavement or the whirling melodic charm of the Flaming Lips and Neutral Milk Hotel, but essentially comparisons are fruitless. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are joyous alternative synth pop for 2005. Uplifting, tuneful, tugging and thought provoking, Is this love is a grower: seeping into your head and heart for days: inhabiting a place where good tunes reside.