When a band (in this case a duo) takes its name from a W.H. Auden poem, you simply have to prick up your ears and listen. Sometimes such a build-up can be a big letdown, but in the case of Clever Hopes’ debut album Artefact, it delivers on its promises.
The project is essentially the idea of Andrew Shaver, Canadian theatre actor and director, along with actor/singer Eva Foote, whom he met when he directed the musical Once.
Yet Artefact could be a musical itself, if the music you use is inclined towards Americana Howe Gelb/Giant Sand inclined when he is in his gentler mood and his lyrics are at his sharpest.
Of course, you can add here a few other references like Jeff Tweedy or Lord Huron, to name just a few, but Shaver and Foote certainly have their own take on both the music and the lyrics that make them sound, well, like themselves.
Shaver’s theatrical experience and knowledge of poetry certainly influenced the quality of the lyrics as well.
Simply put, Artefact starts 2022 with big hopes, particularly if they are clever.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: CLEVER HOPES – ARTEFACT