Clever Square

Clever Square are an indie rock band, formed in Ravenna in 2005 and based in Bologna. Giacomo D'Attorre - songwriter, singer and guitarist - leads the line-up currently completed by Francesco Lima, Andrea Ferriani and Andrea Napolitano. After a four-year break up, the new album - simply entitled "Clever Square" - will be released by Bronson Recordings on May 24, 2019. Let's re-go.

The great Clever Square’s return, with a new self-titled album on 24 May 2019 for Bronson Recordings: maturity’s college rock

On the cover image of Clever Square, to be released on May 24, 2019 by Bronson Recordings, Giacomo D’Attorre – voice, guitars and, in essence, deus ex machina of the Clever Square – hides himself behind the branches of a tree. Yet this album is the one in which the Ravenna artist, active in Bologna since a decade, “discovers” himself the most. “Yes, this is the record where I discover myself. To put my face on the cover is a courageous act: I immediately understood that I had to choose this photo, taken by Gianna D’Arco, because I felt free to let myself be ‘seen’ by the listeners. I overcome the disorientation caused by the band’s end – broke up in 2015 – and I got back in the game with other people. It was a nice surprise, first of all for myself”.

The eponymous title of the record is an indication of restart, but also a declaration of reconquest because Giacomo has fully regained his love in making music. Clever Square is the third official Clever Square album, not to mention the first two self-released album and the six EPs that complete their discography. From the group foundation, whick took place in a garage in Ravenna during the summer of 2005, and from the original lo-fi approach, the turning point was represented by the more elaborate Natural Herbal Pills and Nude Cavalcade, published respectively in 2013 and in 2015 by Flying Kids Records. Clever Square inaugurates a completely new chapter made up of songs dating back to the period from 2015 to 2017, with the exception of a couple of older tracks. The writing method has also changed: “I compose mainly as a ‘vent’, due to the inevitable communicative urgency, but lately I have acquired greater awareness. We started recording in January 2018: the process, however, was slow and troubled because I needed to regain confidence and strenght to resume a pending speech, to expose myself after the band breakup and the consequent expectations disappointed. After all, it’s a matter of embracing one’s own frailties. The new tracks are the result of the crisis and of the reasons why, despite everything, it’s still worthwhile to leave the room and show yourself to others”.

The style is closely linked to American indie rock, timeless genre marked by a slacker aesthetic and exploded at the turn of the 80s/90s, that Giacomo manages to make it shine in his own way. “It’s the kind of music I grew up with and I identify with. For me, it means the possibility of expressing oneself for what one really is. In 2019, I think it’s still important just to play, have something to say and say it in a direct and spontaneous way. In reality, it’s not simple or obvious but it’s the lesson I learned and I try to put into practice. Clever Square’s tracklist includes ten songs, each of them autonomous but functional to the essential overall picture, that pay tribute to a legendary generation of outsiders like Neutral Milk Hotel, Guided By Voices, Dinosaur Jr., Lemonheads, Pavement and Sebadoh, in tune with present-day names such as Courtney Barnett, Car Seat Headrest or Kurt Vile.

There is the unmissable electricity – with the thunderous opener Are Glasses And Contacts Ruining Your Vision?, the upbeat Denial And The Wizards, the “refreshing” Song For Beer Delivery and the conclusive Fast Food Lovers – and there is the perfect college rock melody, displayed in Cringe. There is also a great care of the arrangements, developed together with the guitarists Francesco Lima, met by chance and become part of the project. “Previous Clever Square’s records were noiser. Here there is a return to a pure authorial approach, typical of our first works, but with a renewed sensibility”. The album – mastered by Andrea “Suri” Suriani – was recorded by Marco Giudici, also known for his solo activity as Halfalib and for his role as a bassist in the band Any Other: “His contibution was fundamental, in stripping the songs from the unnecessary and giving a warmer, polychrome and somehow ‘folk’ sound to the record”. Take for example the vulnerable inwardness of the more acoustic Busted Religions and He Cried, She Decried, of an Endless Herman with jazzy percussions – on the drums, in the album, Andrea Napolitano – or of the ballad To Spoon-feed You enriched with a piano. The connection with the world of Any Other is confirmed by the partecipation of their leader Adele Nigro, who duets with Giacomo and plays the sax in the vivacity of Avocado Phishing. Picking up all the pieces, brings everything home, the best Clever Square record came out right now.

On 26 October 2020 Clever Square release the new single Little Flaws, always via Bronson Recordings.

Giacomo D’Attorre, voice and guitar, as well as the author of the collage chosen as cover artwork, illustrates the genesis of the track: “If everything that passed between us existed only as a set of possibilities, my aim should have been to broaden the scope of her speculations about me‘, writes Gerald Murnane in The Plains, a very fascinating book I read a few months ago. Little Flaws collects my thoughts about this line of text, and it seems to me that we have managed to drain it all, as if it were foam dripping out of a glass of freshly tapped beer“.

Recorded as usual by Marco Giudici, Little Flaws starts a completely new course that will be developed/unveiled in the coming months and continues at the same time to make seem simple what is not at all: centering a perfect mix between indie rock and melodic songwriting. Little Flaws is quite simply the first testimony of the Clever Square of the future.

Clever Square| Bronson Recordings