Clap Your Hands Say Yeah was poised to become the next biggest thing after the Arcade Fire back in 2005 when the band's widely praised, self-titled debut was released — a dizzying possibility that seemed to come as much of a surprise to the act as anyone else. As it turns out, the group never become anything close to a household name, but it has maintained a sizable following despite a protracted hiatus — even while laying the groundwork for current hype-targets like Yeasayer and Vampire Weekend, both of which, in their own way, seem to have picked up on Clap Your Hands' Talking Heads fixation. So does that make Alec Ounsworth, the leader of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the new David Byrne? Far from it. Mo Beauty, the singer-songwriter's new solo debut, is a simultaneously soaring and brooding disc full of folk ballads and epic anthems. It's also better than anything he's ever recorded — which may or may not augur a dubious future for the band. Regardless, Ounsworth appears to be doing just fine on his own.
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