ALEC OUNSWORTH’S superb guitar pop outfit Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are excited to announce a new album for the new year: it’s to be entitled New Fragility, and it’ll be hitting the racks on January 29th.
And to ring in the announcement, they’ve released a double A-side: “Hesitating Nation” and “Thousand Oaks”. Do you know what, we couldn’t decide which we liked more, because they’re both crackers; so we’ve embedded them both for you to savour.
“These songs are politically motivated, which is unusual for me,” Alec Ounsworth says. “The only other politically motivated song I’ve written is ‘Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood” (which helped launch the band’s eponymous debut some 15 years back now).
But given what’s happening in the USA right now and how serious Alec believes it is, he couldn’t evade addressing the state of the nation.
“‘Hesitating Nation’ is a song meant to convey my sense of disappointment and alienation with the rewarded mentality of getting ahead at all costs, inevitably to the detriment of those who didn’t sign up to be part of the experiment,” he says.
Of “Thousand Oaks,” he details: “In 2018, there was a shooting in Thousand Oaks, CA which killed 13 people. This song has to do with the impotence of the American government in the face of such tragedies.”
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah recently released digital reissues of its entire catalogue across digital service providers, each with an extra album of scarce or unreleased material; read our story about that here.
And to cap it all, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah will be playing across Europe next year. The dates are as follows:
September 18th, 2021, Brussels, Botanique – Rotonde;
September 19th, Amsterdam, Paradiso;
September 21st, Bristol, Thekla;
September 22nd, Cambridge, Portland Arms;
September 23rd, Manchester, YES (The Pink Room);
September 24th, Dublin, Whelans;
September 25th, Liverpool, District;
September 26th, Leeds, Brudenell Social Club;
September 28th, London, Scala;
September 29th, Paris, La Maroquinerie;
September 30th, Clermont-Ferrand, La Cooperative de Mai;
October 1st, Barcelona, Sala Apolo;
October 2nd, Madrid, Independence Club;
October 4th, Nîmes, Paloma;
October 5th, Zurich, Bogen F;
October 6th, Milan, BIKO;
October 7th, Bologna, Covo Club;
October 6th, Neuchâtel, Case a Chocs;
October 10th, Dresden, Beatpol;
October 12th, Berlin, Frannz Club;
October 13th, Copenhagen, Hotel Cecil;
October 14th, Hamburg, Molotow, and
October 15th, Cologne, Bumann & Sohn.
New Fragility is a title that succinctly sums up exactly where we’re at as a civilisation, as a species, as nation states; a trauma Alec’s spent the best part of three years processing.
“It’s pretty personal,” he confesses. “It’s about what I think we’re all experiencing at the moment, certainly here in the United States anyway – trying to move forward amidst an almost cruel uncertainty.”
The way he manages to loft lofi songwriting towards absolutely heartfelt and anthemic territory, I think we’re in for a treat, despite the bitter taste of the subject matter at hand.