I'm still here! ¤

Well, sorta, anyway. For a while I've felt bad for leaving my small group of followers high and dry last winter by suddenly stopping posting overnight, but there is an explanation, and here it is:

Since the early ninetees I've been a guitarist and singer with various bands with - let's call it "moderate" success. However, 4-5 years ago my last band imploded, and I didn't have the energy to start all over again. Instead I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands to indulge in my general interest in music and to search the web and elsewhere for all the great music that's being made by other artists - and to pass it on through new technology to other music lovers that perhaps didn't know where to start looking for the pots of gold that's out there. 
Then one day, completely out of the blue, I received a request to join a new band as a guitar player. After going a few rounds with myself, I decided that this project sounded too interesting to let slip away - and accepted the challenge. With two-three days a week suddenly occupied by rehearsals, gigs and band marketing there simply wasn't enough time left to keep the Clever Eleven blog up to the standard I felt it deserved. There is a lot of research and of course listening required in order to be able to post a handful of detailed entries every week, and sadly I couldn't prioritize this lovely activity any longer. So, Clever Eleven as we knew it reached an end after two and a half years.

But dispair not! All this time since the blog was put on hiatus, I've managed to keep an eye on new releases through a handful of my favorite sources. And I have been able to maintain playlists in the streaming clients that are about to take over the music industry - at least in some countries.
Spotify has quite recently been launched in the US, in addition to the 8-9 European countries it has previously been available in. For those of you lucky enough to be aboard this ship, you can enjoy my monthly playlist or the best of the year (so far) playlist.
Those of you living in Scandinavia have another (and, in my opinion better) offer, the "new guy in town" called Wimp. They make up their present lack of availability a little bit, by offering worldwide browser previews of the songs. Check out the regularly updated 50 song Clever Eleven (well, couldn't change the name, could I?) playlist, or the best of the year (so far) playlist!
I hope these playlists can help to quench your thirst for new tunes, at least a little bit.

And of course, you should all wish for great success for my band, so that I can quit my dayjob, so that I'll have lots of spare time to restart the blog again! The curious of you can check out our new EP on Facebook or on our official website.

Rock on!

The Courteeners - You Overdid it Doll ¤

http://www.thecourteeners.com/


THEY ARE
"New wave of britpop" trio who probably don't need much warming to idea of being the biggest Manchester band with a mouthy frontman called Liam.
SOUNDS LIKE
The Rolling Stones' Miss You made listenable by replacing the godawful falsetto squeals and the impotent funk with a chuggy disco stomp reminiscent of Blur's Girls & Boys or the chorus of Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out.
RELEASE
You Overdid it Doll (single) Feb 15
Falcon Feb 22

Ocean Colour Scene - Magic Carpet Days ¤

http://www.oceancolourscene.com/


THEY ARE
Britpop veterans kicking off their third decade as a band with their ninth album.
SOUNDS LIKE
the Northern Soul version of fellow Brummies Dodgy's blissful Good Enough.
RELEASE
Magic Carpet Days (single) Jan 25
Saturday Feb 1 (that's actually a Monday)

The Besnard Lakes - Albatross ¤

http://www.thebesnardlakes.com/


THEY ARE
Canadian collective fronted by husband and wife Olga Goreas and Jace Lasek.
SOUNDS LIKE
Spiritualized on a leash, blending shoegaze guitars, girl group vocals, understated horns and Beach Boys harmonies into a psychedelic pop soup.
RELEASE
Albatross (12") Feb 8
The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night Mar 8
TRIVIA
Their upcoming album was mixed on a desk used for Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti.

Lars and the Hands of Light - Me Me Me ¤

http://www.myspace.com/larsandthehandsoflight


THEY ARE
Danish pop quartet, whose debut single (yes, this one) came out last summer.
SOUNDS LIKE
the very definition of the often cited, yet somewhat curious MySpace genre "Melodramatic Popular Song".
RELEASE
The Looking Glass Jan 25
TRIVIA
Their record label, Crunchy Frog, took their name from an all-too-literally named chocolate in a Monty Python sketch.

Ash - Space Shot ¤

http://www.ash-official.com/


THEY ARE
Northern Irish pop trio (yet again) with a penchant for astronomy and handclaps.
SOUNDS LIKE
a trendy tongue-in-cheek new-wave act from New York.
RELEASE
Space Shot (single) Jan 18
TRIVIA
This is number H (sic) in their series of 26 singles released every other week until September (with this player being updated accordingly (and alphabetically!)).

Fyfe Dangerfield - Faster than the Setting Sun ¤

http://www.fyfedangerfield.com/




HE IS
the magnificently-named honey-voiced frontman of Guillemots.
SOUNDS LIKE
one of the epic pop symphonies from Guillemots' beautiful debut album Through the Windowpane, rather than their annoyingly noisy follow-up Red.
RELEASE
Fly Yellow Moon Jan 18

Delphic - Doubt ¤

http://delphic.cc/


THEY ARE
(Another) Manchester outfit fusing melodic indie rock with electronics.
SOUNDS LIKE
a lost track from Cut Copy's terrific In Ghost Colours.
RELEASE
Acolyte Dec 11
CLEVER MOMENT
At 3:04 when the guitar burst into a simplistic Bernard Sumner-esque guitar solo, reminding you where these guys are from.

Bicycle Thieves - Camera Shy ¤

http://www.myspace.com/bicyclethievesuk



THEY ARE
likely lads from Liverpool with one single under their belt, on which it's the B-side that steals the show - a gloomy rocker that builds and builds until it reach epic heights.
SOUNDS LIKE
the hate child of Editors and Doves.
RELEASE
Stop to Start (single) 23 Nov
TRIVIA
The band has presumably taken their name from a song by eighties cult band (and fellow Scousers) The Pale Fountains.

Midlake - Rulers, Ruling All Things ¤

http://www.midlake.net


THEY ARE
Texan folk oddballs finally ready to follow up their surprise hit album The Trials of Van Occupanther after three and a half years of silence.
SOUNDS LIKE
they've left the soft rock ship and aimed for the folky, at times proggy sounds of Pentangle, Fairport Convention. And they've seemed to have borrowed Ian Anderson's flute.
RELEASE
Acts of Man/Rulers, Ruling all things (single) Dec 14
The Courage of Others Feb 1  
CLEVER MOMENT
at 3:14, when the flute gives way to the band's trademark spine-chilling vocal harmonies.

Lowline - Outside ¤

http://www.myspace.com/thisislowline



THEY ARE
from Manchester. That's about all you need to know.
SOUNDS LIKE
big guitar rock of the eighties, like Echo & the Bunnymen, Simple Minds and perhaps more curiously, The Cult.
RELEASE
Outside (digital single) Dec 7

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