Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the fêted five-piece that burst out of Brooklyn in 2005, were always centered around the creativity of frontman and songwriter Alec Ounsworth. By 2017 however, Ounsworth stood alone, the moniker serving as an alter ego as opposed to a functioning band. And whether through freedom or a renewed sense of confidence, it led to The Tourist, Ounsworth’s most rounded and focussed collection of songs since the band’s acclaimed, self-titled debut. Helped by frequent collaborator Dave Fridmann’s luscious mix, The Tourist sounded both immediate and cinematic, and framed Ounsworth’s more idiosyncratic tendencies within huge choruses, soaring melodies, and shimmering anthems. Inspired by personal turmoil, the dark, sombre lyrics and imagery were tempered by moments of sly humour and clever word play; snippets of Lou Reed, The Velvet Underground, and Broken Social Scene all cropped up.Musically, it was as eclectic as ever – beside Ounsworth’s trademark charming indie, there’s some giddy disco, organ-fuelled waltz, psychedelic funk, and post-punk – and this, coupled with his songwriting smarts, pointed to an artist completely at ease in his work. “We can be whatever we want!” he sings at one point; it’s a mantra Ounsworth totally took to heart.