Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (often abbreviated CYHSY) is an American indie rock group based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Their debut album, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, was self-released in 2005.
The band, whose members met years earlier at Connecticut College, formed in the beginning of 2004 and played shows in Manhattan and Brooklyn. They are notable for achieving their initial fame and commercial success via the internet rather than through a record label. Shortly after the release of their first album, they received attention from numerous MP3 blogs and a favorable review from Pitchfork Media, who gave the band a “Best New Music” commendation. The ensuing demand for the album was so great that the band was forced to repress the CD, as the initial production run was too small. They garnered even more press after David Bowie and David Byrne were spotted at some of the band’s shows in 2005.
On October 3, 2005, they were signed to Wichita Recordings in the UK.
The band members live in Boston and Philadelphia.
The band released their second album, Some Loud Thunder on January 29, 2007, in the UK, and January 30, 2007, in the United States. Alec Ounsworth has said that he plans to professionally record some of his older songs for a solo release before moving CYHSY onward.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah were one of the founding contributors to the Yellow Bird Project, submitting a charity t-shirt in 2006 to raise money for Art for Change; a non-profit social organization based in NYC. The t-shirt was designed by the bands’ keyboardist/guitarist/backup vocalist Robbie Guertin.
On September 18, 2007, Live at Lollapalooza 2007: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah was released on iTunes. It features the band’s complete live set from Lollapalooza, professionally recorded on August 4, 2007.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah appeared in the 2008 film The Great Buck Howard. On January 21, 2009, it was reported that CYHSY abandoned plans to head to the studio to record their third full-length album, and are “taking a break” while the band members pursue side projects. The public hiatus was to take official effect after the band performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on February 13, 2009, however, on March 4, they performed a new song on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, titled “Statues”. The hiatus was later disproved when the band was signed on to headline the University of Texas in Austin’s 40 Acres Fest in April 2009. It was reported the band were working with producer John Congleton at Water Music in New Jersey on the long awaited third album.