Last week Clap Your Hands Say Yeah released their fourth full length album Only Run
. Let's just get this out of the way: if you are still hoping for a reprise of the CYHSY from their critically acclaimed and widely popular 2005 self-titled debut, then you're going to be disappointed. That said, if you're still hoping for a CYHSY release reminiscent of their early stuff, then you haven't been paying attention. The band has been steadily moving away from the country flavored post punk sprinkled with synth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
since the record came out, and Only Run
is their furthest step yet.
The new album is a drastic lunge toward the synthesized that had only peppered their previous works. It's also the band's first release with a drastically different cast. Front man Alec Ounsworth and drummer Sean Greenhalgh remain the only original members since the band's last LP, 2011's Hysterical
. Along with the departed members has gone much of the band's rabble rousing rebellion folk vim. Where Hysterical
felt like the cooling simmer of a group with nowhere else to go, Only Run
feels like the overly conceptual and ambitious first album of a group still hashing it out. Only Run
marks the forgery of a new CYHSY, and so it feels more like the new group's first album than CYHSY's fourth.
The record has a mixtape quality to it. Comprised of found sound bytes, and waxed with white noise, the new tone brings out a different brand of detachment in Ounsworth's vocals. It's a much more sonic detachment as opposed to his signature lackadaisical detachment; using his voice as an instrument, rather than leaning on it as a character. The synthy beats are a much more vast sound than the guitar driven tunes of the past, and at times the album sounds like it's trying to fit a sprawling landscape into a small hallway. The moody Neutral Milk Hotel vibe of previous albums has been replaced by a moody Radiohead vibe. It's unpolished new territory for Ounsworth, and while it's not the greatest album we've heard from CYHSY, it's a promising first album from the new assembly.
Watch the video for As Always off Only Run
below. And get your copy of Only Run