Alec Ounsworth is the lead singer with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! Sadly, his band have been slipping deeper into mediocrity since the fascinating sonic experience of 2007’s Some Loud Thunder. Given the brilliance of the first two Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! albums and Ounsworth’s superlative solo record, this descent into stale MOR American rock is a tragedy.
On this sun-dabbled April evening, I have once again been reminded of Ounsworth’s singular talent and it is a bitter-sweet experience. Unbeknownst to me, he recorded an 8-track album in 2009 as Flashy Python. Not only this, but it is now available to buy direct from the man himself. It seems almost unnecessary to state that it is very very good.
Released as an ultra-limited run four years ago, Skin and Bones differs from Ounsworth’s Mo Beauty. Mo Beauty burst with New Orleans’ brass and bold ideas whereas Skin and Bones is possessed of enough lo-fi charm to rough the edges of what is an intensely focussed and diverse recording. Sitting between the second and third Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! albums, it is also an interesting document of the enigmatic frontman’s own influences and ideas. The album closer Avalon’s Snake Breath is an exhilarating experience: luscious strings and delicate piano give way to frantic organs and distorted guitar in an epic play of distance and drama.
Listen to Skin and Bones or purchase the album below. If you choose to go physical and this does include lovely vinyl, then Ounsworth will even sign it before he ships. In more ways than one, this represents a rare opportunity that would be foolish to ignore.