The debut single from Clever Hopes is a delightful burst of upbeat folk-rock, featuring driving acoustic guitar and a rhythmic harmonica solo from Matthew Barber. Andrew Shaver’s voice is beautifully warm and worn smooth as he takes us through all his failings in a doomed relationship. Then, Eva Foote’s vocal is introduced, clear and pure – the two combine to great effect, their voices complementing one another well and giving greater meaning and purpose to the smartly written lyrics: “I know you wanted more // And I only gave you bits and pieces // Like broken dishes on the floor.”
‘Made You Mad’ was written about a snowy afternoon in Montreal when Shaver’s relationship unravelled. Too weary to carry on fighting, Shaver packed his bags and set off on the long drive to Toronto, talking things through with his friend Matt Barber along the way. Once in Toronto, a late-night jam with Eva Foote led to the formation of Clever Hopes and Barber would go on to produce their debut album. Clever Hopes explains the song’s theme: “With a tip of its cap to the great rock duets that gave it life, ‘Made You Mad’ is the phoenix that soars out of love’s fiery demise. A reminder that, even when it is your fault, it’s going to be ok. It’s the kind of broken-hearted love song that might come too late to fix it, but just in time to try again.”
Shaver and Foote are both acclaimed musicians and actors, destined to collaborate. Shaver directed the musical ‘Once’ in Montreal some years ago and Foote took on one of the lead roles. After each show, the pair would join the team in the dressing rooms for singalong sessions, making music together and drinking into the night. They would go on to forge an enduring friendship before forming Clever Hopes – the name is taken from a WH Auden poem – and writing their own songs. Look out for the debut album ‘Artefact’, due out in 2022, and expect fine songcraft, engaging tunes and smartly-written stories. Enjoy.