The latest New York band tipped for big things, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah acquire a certain distinction through the decision of songwriter Alec Ounsworth to live in Philadelphia, which presumably enables him to take a fresh perspective on the Big Apple. It's Ounsworth's eccentric imagery and performance - in places, his delivery is more louche and exaggerated than Rufus Wainwright's - that furnishes most of the band's true character, their musical approach comprising several parts each of Velvet Underground's monotony, Fiery Furnaces' raggedy narratives, and a great dollop of Talking Heads, the latter especially discernible in the spindly guitars of "Over and Over Again" and a tone of slightly aerated restraint. The seemingly random aggregation of weird images - "the ravaged cabbage drifts on dark red skies", anyone? - baffles, but there are enough bitchy barbs ("You look like David Bowie/But you've nothing new to show me") to mark the album out as a bona fide New York artefact.
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