Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Announce New Album & Share Lead Single “Fireproof”


Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – aka vocalist/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Alec Ounsworth – have announced the release of their fifth album. Titled The Tourist, it arrives on February 24th.

Like previous Clap Your Hands Say Yeah records, The Tourist nods to Ounsworth’s musical heroes—a group that includes artists such as John Cale, Robert Wyatt, Tom Waits and Nick Cave. However, this album also shows a natural progression from previous records.

The Tourist emerged from a period where Ounsworth was doing a lot of intense soul-searching, and processing personal events that irrevocably shaped his life and future. But although most of these songs came together during this time of reflection, he considers the record to be cathartic—an exhale of sorts, rather than a collection of songs where he was indulging in self-pity or letting things stagnate or fester.

The album was a type of purge,” he says. “A purge of certain emotional confusion that manifested itself in the last several years. It was not an easy album to make, by virtue of the fact that it was an emotional time for me.” “I wanted to experiment with packing lyrics,” Ounsworth says. “On this album, the lyrics and vocal melody effectively carry the songs, maybe more than anything else. Elvis Costello does this really well on his song ‘Beyond Belief,’ as does Paul Simon on his solo albums. I wanted not to overdo it lyrically, but do try to squeeze as much as I could out of certain phrases.

Ounsworth spent about a week recording The Tourist at Dr. Dog’s Philadelphia-based studio with a drummer and bassist. After that, he and engineer Nick Krill spent a few months “tidying things up” and recording additional embellishments: backup vocals, keyboards, guitars and more percussion.

The Tourist was then mixed by Dave Fridmann, who also worked on two previous Clap Your Hands Say Yeah albums, 2007’s Some Loud Thunder and 2014’s Only Run. Ounsworth says he and Fridmann are on the same musical wavelength, which makes their long-time working relationship an anchor of sorts. “Dave and I don’t necessarily stick with what’s easiest which is fine and anxiety-inducing, in a good way,” he says. “He challenges me to do something a little bit different.

I am a relatively solitary person and seem to work best alone,” he says. “I do count on others to help the project as the process of making and releasing an album moves forward, but if it doesn’t match what I have in mind, it’s hard for me to really be there for it. I guess this is one reason why the project has been independent all this time. Trust me, I understand that thinking this way is both an asset and a liability.

However, this stubborn independence also reflects Ounsworth’s commitment to musical integrity. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s career arc is all about building on previous successes while staying true to a core artistic vision. And although The Tourist may have emerged from challenging times, it reflects Ounsworth’s uncanny ability to move forward, no matter what the circumstances. “I’d rather not say that it was a dark time, but it was a difficult time in my life—among the most difficult,” he says. “But I needed and need to try to let it go. And this is how I let things go. Though it’s the same for any album—this one probably more than the others.

But I have to try to do something each time that’s new and engaging for me,” he adds. “I mean, I could very well just write songs the way they were early on. But I don’t think that people would appreciate listening to someone just going through the motions. We have to build something to last, rather than just build it because it looks good at the moment.

The band have also shared the lead single, “Fireproof“. Listen to it below:

The Tourist artwork & tracklist:


1. The Pilot
2. A Chance To Cure
3. Down (is Where I Want To Be)
4. Unfolding Above Celibate Moon (Los Angeles Nursery Rhyme)
5. Better Off
6. Fireproof
7. The Vanity Of Trying
8. Loose Ends
9. Ambulance Chaser
10. Visiting Hours

Catch Clap Your Hands Say Yeah live on the following dates:

03.02.17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
03.03.17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
03.04.17 – New York NY @ Le Poisson Rouge
03.05.17 – Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
03.07.17 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
03.08.17 – Columbus, OH @ Skully’s Music Diner
03.09.17 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
03.10.17 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
03.11.17 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
03.12.17 – Omaha, NB @ The Waiting Room
03.14.17 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
03.15.17 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
03.16.17 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux
03.17.17 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
03.18.17 – Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt
03.19.17 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
03.21.17 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s
03.22.17 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
03.23.17 – Visalia, CA @ Cellar Door
03.24.17 – West Hollywood, CA @ Roxy Theatre
03.25.17 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah

04.18.17 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
04.20.17 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
04.21.17 – Austin, TX @ The Sidewinder
04.22.17 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (Upstairs)
04.25.17 – Ybor City, FL @ The Orpheum
04.26.17 – Miami, FL @ Gramps
04.27.17 – Orlando, FL @ The Social
04.28.17 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
04.29.17 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
04.30.17 – Nashville, TN @ Exit / In

05.02.17 – Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle
05.03.17 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle – Backroom
05.04.17 – Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry
05.05.17 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
05.06.17 – Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel

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