CYHSY, New Fragility (Coke Bottle Clear) 2021

USA FLAG                                                                                  Clap Your Hands Say Yeah — „New Fragility“ (12 Feb., 2021)
Šesté album „NEW FRAGILITY“ je plné jemně plačících kytarových popových jisker.
Ovlivňující příběhy, bizarní Ounsworthův hlas a jiskřivá hra na kytaru způsobují podivné ozvěny magie. Je to nejlepší album CYHSY od jejich debutu v roce 2005, navíc s výjimečnými skladbami.
Alec Ounsworth — alias Clap Your Hands Say Yeah — je betální etapou jeho kariéry a života, kde po těžkých třech letech je plně připraven upřímně psát o velkých problémech — depresi, zralosti, ať už je to cokoli, také o rozvodu a zablokování. Ale pro Ounswortha neobvykle, stejně jako obvyklé bohatý zvukový level a sofistikované aranžmá, zavedl do mixu i nějakou politiku. To je jeho zásluha, protože příliš mnoho amerických umělců prakticky ignorovalo oranžového fašistu a nebezpečný nový GOP, který živil. Svůj set otevírá písní Hesitating Nation: zábranou proti apatii a nekontrolovatelnému konzumu, který řídí prostředí a upozorní Bidenovu administrativu, že musí opravit právě ten systém, o kterém si myslí, že selhává.
⇒   Vrhání světla na detaily jeho roztříštěné psychiky nemusí vždycky poslouchat to nejjednodušší. Alec Ounsworth, který již není podporován obavami dospívajících, nemusí být v nejšťastnějších státech. Ale pokud budete pozorně poslouchat, uslyšíte sound zasazování se jednoho muže za morální vykoupení uprostřed společenského a individuálního kolapsu. A to si zaslouží potlesk. Album sice u kritiky nemá valnou odezvu, ovšem MATT COTSELL z MusicOMH a JONATHAN HORNER z Narc Magazine mu svorně udělují 4/5. Viz tagy.CYHSY ©Turn Up The Volume! Brussels,  Belgium
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Album release: 12 February 2021
Record Label: CHYHSY/Secretly
Duration:     40:56
Tracks:
01. Hesitating Nation   3:13
02. Thousand Oaks   4:47
03. Dee, Forgiven   4:08
04. New Fragility   3:25
05. Innocent Weight   4:11
06. Mirror Song   4:32
07. CYHSY, 2005   3:35
08. Where They Perform Miracles   3:52
09. Went Looking For Trouble   5:46
10. If I Were More Like Jesus   3:27
Personnel:
Alec Ounsworth: vocals, guitars, bass, synths
Jonas Oesterle: drums
Todd Erk: synths, programming
Brendan Cooney: string arrangement, conductor
Veronica Jurkiewicz: viola
Gabriel Miller: violin
Carlos Santiago: violin
Carolina Diazgranados: cello
Credits:
■  All songs written and arranged by Alec Ounsworth, published by Domino Publishing
■  Production: Alec Ounsworth, Additional Production: Will Johnson
■  Additional string arrangements on tracks 5, 7, 9: Brendan Cooney
Recording and Engineering:
■  Britton Beisenherz at Ramble Creek Studios (Austin, TX) — Tracks 1~9
♦  Quentin Stoltzfus at Silent Partner Studios (Philadelphia, PA) — Strings on tracks 5, 7, 9
■  Alec Ounsworth (home studio) — Track 10
■  Mixing: John Agnello at Kaleidoscope
■  Mastering: Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound
■  Layout and Design: Claire Kimock
■  Cover Photo: Beth Ounsworth
■  Wardrobe: Ben Brown
■  Management: Bob Andrews & Christoph Storbeck
■  Distributed by Secretly Distribution
REVIEW
by Matt Cotsell ⌊11 Feb 2021⌋ Score: ★★★★
Ξ  Stains leave their uneasy smear on the first two tracks of New Fragility, the new record by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Peppy opening number ‘Hesitating Nation’ is rife with narrative imperfections, be it the residual marks of spilt wine, the taint of political corruption or the detrimental impact humans are having on the world through our excessive and apathetic pollution. The hangdog observations don’t stop there as the desolation seeps into second song ‘Thousand Oaks’, written in response to front man Alec Ounsworth witnessing an interview with the survivor of a mass shooting and being affected by the blood smeared shirt she wore.
Ξ  Lyrically this is not the first time the Pennsylvania born musician has addressed our indifference to mindless atrocities. Way back on their much talked about and highly loved debut, there was a closing acoustic stomper about the escalating death toll of young Americans slaughtered during the Iraq War. Lumbered with a festering conscience, the new fragility of the album’s title (pinched from a section in author David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews With Hideous Men) and the complicated melancholy of the record paints the once puckish Ounsworth as now haunted by the significant traumas of the age, the unbridled elation he was once known for reduced to a dangling carrot he no longer has the energy to chase.
Ξ  That softening of his once trailblazing eccentric songwriting is a result of much soul searching. Not only does Thousand Oaks reflect on gun culture, it also finds Ounsworth, an island of a man, feeling around inside for assurances that he has retained compassion. Intoxicated and mournful Dee, Forgiven casts a raised glass to a now exhausted partner over considered bluesy piano tinkling.
Ξ  It’s not all doom and gloom though, as the motorik exertions and echo chamber choral lifts of title track New Fragility almost pull Ounsworth away from the comfort of his insular condemnations. Warm orchestral strings announce Innocent Weight, as restrained verses curse uncertainty and confusion slowly gives way to sweeping responsive guitar solos. There are unexpected blasts of late period studio bound Lennon & McCartney sewn into the teary multi~tracked psychedelic Mirror Song, another ballad about surveying emotional wreckage. CYHSY, 2005 takes a meta approach to the unregulated power wielded by critics, referencing the unfair critical dilution that’s befallen the band since the first release. Where They Perform Miracles offers damning scrutiny of familial deterioration, the teary harmonica adding an appropriate dash of Americana.
Ξ  Throwing a light on the minutiae of his fraying psyche doesn’t always make for the easiest of listens. No longer buoyed by adolescent concerns, Alec Ounsworth may not be in the happiest of states. But if you heed closely you’ll hear the sound of one man’s combing for moral redemption amidst societal and individual collapse. And that deserves applause.
Ξ  https://www.musicomh.com/reviews/albums/clap-your-hands-say-yeah-new-fragility
BY JONATHAN HORNER ⌊JANUARY 26TH, 2021⌋ Score: ★★★★
BC: https://clapyourhandssayyeah.bandcamp.com/album/new-fragility
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