New Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

“Blog buzz band” wasn’t coined for Clap Your Hands, but the Philly/Brooklyn band’s sudden, web-fueled surge last year gave the term its legs — and made the group its poster boys. And the extent to which they became synonymous with this little culture we’re all a part of makes them a HUGE target this time around; some aren’t gonna give ‘em a fair shake no matter the sophomore record’s quality. Some just creamed themselves reading this post’s title. Either way, the album is nearing release — and here’s the first taste. Are you gonna love it? These tracks give you two disparate peeks at the sound of Some Loud Thunder.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – “Underwater (You And Me)” (MP3)

“Underwater (You And Me)” starts with a Smokey clang and then spends 30 seconds introducing the strong, contrapuntal bassline that carries the tune straight to its conclusion, when it fades to reveal shimmery, color guitars. The 30-second mark is also where we meet Alec’s voice again, and as we know, he likes to do it two ways: either in relatively straight-forward service of his Byrne-y melodies; or in over-the-top flails and spasms, to the point that his voice is itself the show, and the melody’s a barely trascribable suggestion. It’s the vocal spasms that make your friends think you’re nuts when you preach CYHSY, but both are why you love the Clap like you do. Here, it’s reservedly melodic Alec, and it’s fucking fantastic. We’re into it.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – “Love Song No. 7″ (MP3)

Considering these are the two tunes the band has made available, it seems “Love Song” is the band’s challenge to you; there’s bound to be more poppy stuff on the record, but this one’s an odd ball. Some of Alec’s vocal ticks are in play, though not spotlight stealing; the one-two piano plod gives way to intermittent rhythm section crashes, and the spooky sound is at odds with Alec’s repeating “Safe and sound.” Sorta sounds like the soundtrack to a trippy walk through a carnival’s house of mirrors. We’re interested — and curious.

So we leave it to you. Whaddaya think? More or less excited for the record? Either way, it’s coming at ya soon! Some Loud Thunder is officially out 1/30/07, but the band is making the record available via Insound as MP3s on 1/16; if you buy it that way, they’ll send you a physical copy, on the house. How sweet! Oh and before you go, we wanna letcha know that tour favorite “Satan Said Dance” is streaming over at ClapSpace. Enjoy!