Album: Fitz and the Tantrums (2016)
Charted: 53
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • The lead single from the Fitz and the Tantrums 2016 self-titled album finds lead singer Michael Fitzpatrick crooning lyrics about desire. "'HandClap' is a primal tale of love and lust, a call to arms in the late hours of the night," he said. "It's the X-rated version of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind happening on a dance floor."
  • Some clapping fun facts from The Encyclopedia of Trivia:

    Ancient Greek audiences stamped their feet rather than clapping their hands to applaud.

    One theory is that the tradition of clapping dates back to 1473 and an outbreak of cholera. Slapping your hands together was a signal to those around that you were infected. Eventually it became a token of applause, a way of keeping time, and then, by the 1800s, a musical device in its own right.

    In Japan, rhythmic handclapping, or tejime, is used ceremonially to celebrate the end of a special event.

    A group of people that are hired to clap at a performance are called a claque.
  • As well as being a "primal tale of love and lust," the track has another side to it as well. "There's a moment in the song that speaks to just an innate sense of loneliness sometimes, and you wanna have that connection, you wanna have that love in your life," Michael Fitzpatrick explained to ABC Radio. "And sometimes that desire just takes you down a dark road late at night, and you have to do a walk of shame in the morning."
  • The song has two sides musically, as well. "The verses are very primal, and then it goes to this very fluid, beautiful part that's got a touch of melancholy to it," said Fitzpatrick. "And so I wanted to heighten at every chance I could the juxtaposition lyrically, and, even more so, sonically, between those two parts. And that's why the verses of that song are extra raw and have a bit of that harshness to them."
  • This soundtracked a 2016 commercial advertising the new Fiat 500X crossover.
  • After an initial struggle trying to write their 2016 self-titled album, Fitz And The Tantrums bought in Sam Hollander (Boys Like Girls' "The Great Escape," Daughtry's "Waiting for Superman"). He helped them write this song, which gave them a direction for the record. Bassist Joe Kames explained to Artist Direct: "In the beginning of the writing process it was a really slow start and definitely some writers block that was going on. Not that songs weren't being written, but it was kind of like 'What is this?' And it was one of those things where it starts to get a little disheartening.

    When you bring someone else in it brings that new energy and all of the sudden that song 'HandClap' gets written and you're like 'Oh, okay great!' It really helped to rejuvenate the whole creative process."
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