The New Year hangovers had hardly cleared when the spotlight of expectation was shining right in the faces of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Named at the very top end of the BBC Sound of 2006 list, they had clearly already made their mark in media circles. OK, so The Feeling, Automatic and Corinne Bailey Rae have gone on to enjoy bigger commercial success, but for one R13 writer the past twelve months can only be about one band. With a new album and UK tour only a matter of weeks away, 2007 looks set to be just as busy as 2006. We dragged Daniel Bristo down from the clouds for just long enough for him to explain himself!

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and how they changed the face of music in 2006...

Something happened. At the end of January when this incredibly mad and arty band with the singer who'd go down well on Mars appeared with the international release of their debut record, bearing the name of the group, the catchy playful command to 'Clap Your Hands Say Yeah', something changed, in me, and in music too. Yes the Arctic Monkeys came out with 'Whatever People Say I Am That's What I'm Not' at that time and that was truly sensational and certainly made a phenomenal impact, but Clap Your Hands was unprecedented.

This was different, this was unique, there were faint semblances of say Talking Heads or David Bowie in there, but faint, faint, unlike say, the good stuff we got from The Kooks and the other talked about new bands of this year, whose roots could be traced back to one sole input. Clap Your Hands came at you with a punch, via a fist the likes of which had never been clenched before.

Their influence can be heard in the styles of others and indeed in the names of other bands formed since, but their majesty and reign shall never be challenged, they have provided for the listening masses something new and not done before and it's staggeringly astonishing. The band, like all GREAT things in life, are like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it, and I know those who will defend 'Your Hands Say Yeah with their lives and those who would rather take their lives than listen to them, but no one who just shrugs their shoulders.

The album, with its cooler than cool, aureate and ethereal artwork, is a patchwork tour-de-force of philosophy, politics, America, rhythm, melody, and humour, in equal measures. Its toy-piano laden songs, with bright guitar riffs that make you smile without will, vocals that whoosh from a low howling jerk to a high-breaking squeal, basslines like McCartney's circa 'Rubber Soul'/'Revolver'/'Sgt. Peppers'/'White Album', and drums that pound it into your brain, cannot be matched by anything else that emerged this year. It's artistically overt, yet controlled with a craftsmanship rare in any field and most of all it makes you jump in the air, move, dance, it makes you scrunch your face show joy, it makes you clap your hands say yeah.

And live. Well, live, they're a force to be reckoned with. These guys are the best band that's been on this planet in a long time. I don't think I'm alone in this opinion, I think music's got its verve back and if the world needs to catch up, then we shan't begrudge it the time to, but we'll just smugly sit knowing that when it does we can say 'we told you so, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!'

Read more about their live show by checking out a review of their set at this year's Oxegen.