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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Stays Independent

The Philadelphia-based indie rock band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah has been making music for about a decade and doing it outside the mainstream music business. At first, the band got a boost from music blogs and today it releases its music independently.

The creative force behind Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is Alec Ounsworth and he’s a big believer in staying close to his fans. He spent a few months recently doing “ living room concerts” for groups of a few dozen people.

Now Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is on the road playing much bigger venues in support of its new album, “ Only Run.”

“To me, albums are a documentation of what people are doing at a given time,” Ounsworth told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson. “If people connect with it, good, but it’s something that you firmly believe in and you’re passionate about, so it should come off to those people who want it.”

“I’m not looking to sell out Madison Square Garden or anything like that.”

In the nine years since releasing its first album, Ounsworth says the band and its philosophy hasn’t changed much — the priority has always been caring more about creating the music they want to make over being rich and famous.

“In a way, we went through a lot of what, apparently, we needed to go through,” he said. “We played a lot of big festivals, big shows. It is a different world. I’m trying to adapt to how everything’s changed in the music industry. But what I remember about starting was, I started in a very naive and innocent way. I started based on having a passion and not really caring what people thought. I mean, it was a statement that I needed to make at that particular time. And after going through all these changes and going through the second — you know, the scary second, and the third record, and coming back to the fourth, it seems like I’ve taken that position that I had when I began, that, you know, independence is key, is the key element, and hard work will pay off insofar as it connects me with the that people I need to connect to. I’m not looking to sell out Madison Square Garden or anything like that. I’m just looking for the true believers, as it were.”

Songs in this segment

All songs written by Alec Ounsworth and performed by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

  • “Little Moments”
  • “Clap Your Hands”
  • “As Always”
  • “Coming Down”
  • “Only Run”
  • “Impossible Request”


  • Alec Ounsworth, singer, songwriter, guitarist and frontman of indie rock band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

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