June 16, 2011

Song Review: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's "Same Mistake"


The current state of indie rock (if such thing even exists anymore) holds the position it does today partially due to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's overnight success back in 2005. The NYC quintet turned the music world upside down, paving the way for countless breakout acts in the process, by self-releasing their Talking Heads-meets-Neutral Milk Hotel fashioned debut to mass success thanks to an abundance of blog buzz and influence from the newly-crowned critical juggernaut, PitchforkMedia. Despite this Cinderella story, CYHSY have maintained a conspicuously low profile since their 2007 sophomore effort, Some Loud Thunder -- So much in fact that up until earlier this year, it was rumored they had broken up. The seeds of their brief hiatus have reaped some over-ripened creative fruit however, as four years later, their return with "Same Mistake" off their upcoming third LP, Hysterical, sounds like a band that has expanded their ambitions beyond the familiar scope of comfort. Carried by a grandly-arranged string melody in the vein of mid-noughties orchestral indie heavyweights, Arcade Fire, "Same Mistake" follows this style in close (maybe too close) pursuit as lead singer, Alec Ounsworth's formerly polarizing achy voice is steadied to a quiver. While these aesthetic changes may smooth things over with listeners put off by the shaky warbling and eccentricities in CYHSY's early work, that style's endearingly divisive quirkiness is dwarfed by the song's over-the-top scale of production. "Same Mistake" hints a wide-eyed shift in goals from the band that once hand-packed CDs out of bass player, Tyler Sargent's Brooklyn apartment, yet the incautious certainty that bigger is better could ultimately lead Clap Your Hand Say Yeah to an unforgiving point of no return.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - "Same Mistake"

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