Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Performs At Nightfall Friday

Monday, August 11, 2014
Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

The 2014 Nightfall free concert series continues its schedule of summer musical programming Friday at Miller Plaza with a headline show by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at 8 p.m. Opening at 7 p.m. will be local band soCro. 

Review for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah:

In 2005 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah were on top as the latest and greatest unsigned band in the U.S. The band's self titled debut, composed of indie rock and pop songs, was a self made album from production, promotion, and distribution. Band members Alec Ounsworth, Lee Sargent, Robbie Guertin, Tyler Sargent and Sean Greenhalgh formed into a group after co-founders Ounsworth and Tyler Sargent laid the initial groundwork in Massachusetts. The band then moved to Brooklyn where their debut full-length CD was released in 2005, which developed a strong Internet following. Rolling Stone further pushed the band forward by heralding the group as a "Hot New Band" later that year. 

Although two members decided to leave CYHSY in 2012, the band released a digital-only EP, “Little Moments,” in 2013, which was the first sign of their change in direction with the presence of synths and drum machines. The tracks "Only Run" and "Little Moments" from the EP were to again feature on their next album, 2014's “Only Run,” which also featured guest artist Matt Berninger of the National.      

Like the previous three, this album will be marketed and distributed independently by CYHSY. From the get-go, this ethos struck a chord with fans, but it was merely an extension of lead singer/songwriter Alec Ounsworth’s core belief: “The general rule is to be appreciative of your audience. If you can organize and are motivated, you should approach fans directly.”

Fostered from his love of uncompromising songwriters (e.g. John Cale, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Tom Waits), Ounsworth believes in an artist’s creative control. “Some people seem surprised when you shift gears aesthetically between records, but to me that’s the point,” he says. “We have a responsibility as musicians to take chances.” According to Ounsworth, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah—the entire concept of the band, the name itself—is about balancing optimism in the face of overwhelming odds. 

Local band soCro will open the Nightfall show at 7 p.m. Many Chattanoogans are familiar with Eric Lisica, who uses soCro as his hip-hop stage name and have become regulars at his performances at local venues like JJ’s Bohemia and Rhythm & Brews over the past three years. Short for "Southern Croat" and a nod to his Croatian roots, soCro embodies the essence of the electronic elements of the European club scene and Southern hip-hop. This past spring, soCro worked through Kickstarter to raise money for their CD debut “Euro Trash Meets Southern Class.” 

Presented and produced by Chattanooga Presents, Nightfall brings an eclectic mix of music to downtown Chattanooga. Nightfall showcases Chattanooga’s local arts community by featuring Chattanooga musicians for each opening act, followed by headline performances by national and international talent. Food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink concessions are available on site. No outside food or beverages are allowed. 

Nightfall is hosted each Friday at Miller Plaza through Aug. 29.

For more information on the Nightfall Series, call 265-0771 or visit for a complete, interactive website that includes music samples by each headliner, as well as other information for first-time attendees.

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