From our very first breath we are taught to conform and fall in line with the specific ways and patterns of the world. We’re taught how to behave, interact, and even which paths to take. But for Manhattan based band, Cloverton, parting from these patterns has been a trademark of their story from the start.
Without the support of a record label, the band, consisting of Lance Stafford (piano/vocals), his twin brother, Layne Stafford (bass), Kirby LeMoine (drums) and Josh Svorinic (guitars), propelled onto the Christian music scene in 2011 as the first ever ROCK THE CAMP contest winners hosted by TobyMac and Camp Electric. Soon after receiving this prestigious honor, Cloverton scored the #1 most downloaded song in the history of KLOVE radio for their first single “Take Me into the Beautiful,” which also climbed the CHR charts to #12 and #17 on the overall Christian Billboard top 25.
After a season of racking up countless numbers of miles traveling all over the world playing shows, festivals, and even cruises, Cloverton ventured back into the studio with producer Joshua D. Niles (Nashville, Tennessee) to record their highly anticipated first full-length album Patterns. Little did they know, this would be the band’s most daring testament of faith to date.
“Such a small seed. Such a small one is all I need. It’s all I want.”
-Mountains Will Move
“We really had no idea what would happen. When you put yourself out there like that, there’s always risk involved,” says Lance Stafford. “How will people respond? Will our fans rally behind us on this? But on the other side of taking that risk is a great opportunity to trust.”
Their initial goal was to raise 20K in 30 days. They met their goal within 12 days…
“We were overwhelmed. These songs that we’d been playing and writing for the past couple years were finally going to be in a form that people could take home with them.”
Grateful and undone by the generosity of their fan base, Cloverton ended up raising over 45K for the new album, a huge feat for any band to accomplish, especially for an independent band.
Released in September of 2013, Patterns is described as a meeting of minds and personalities, a blending of each of the four members to create something unified and beautiful: personal, worshipful music that cuts through the busyness of our everyday rhythms and reaches into the hearts of the listener.
“Wake up sleeper. Lift your head. We were made for more than this.”
-Glowing in the Dark
“We believe there is something in this album for everyone because we believe there are parts of our story that will resonate in some way with everyone’s story,” Lance Stafford explains. “We are so intentional about each lyric, and want every song to be a unique and connective experience.”
“Day would turn to night. It darkened me as I found another love. And tears would fill the sea as You would long for me.”
Reaching out through their carefully crafted music, the songs touch cords in each and every person. When you take time to really listen to the music, a depth of meaning unveils itself.
“The songs we have written tell our back stories,” Stafford says. “A lot of the songs are very personal, birthed out of certain experiences or struggles. For a long time, I think there was this internal doubt that these songs would ever get recorded. After playing them live for a couple of years, you begin to wonder if you’re still heading down the right path.”
“God, help me to give everything to You that I’m unable to give. And make my life the life I’ve been created to live, oh God.”
-God Help Me to Be
The lyrical depth found in each song is evident from beginning to end as the band pays special attention to marrying charming melodies and ambient sounds with scriptural truths. One of these songs is White Knuckles, which communicates a need to give up our tight grip on things we have no control over. It’s yet another song that speaks about trust, which the band has displayed plenty of in this particular season. When the chanting-like lyrics of the bridge enter this song, one can’t help but sing along.
“Don’t worry about tomorrow. Today has enough.”
With the addition of cinematically soaring songs like “Father’s Love” and “You Never Leave,” to the timeless sounds of “Someday” and “Green Light,” the album explores the vast range of emotions when it comes to faith, hope, and love.
“We all have an opportunity to either conform to or transform the world. The man we celebrate, Jesus, came to this world and didn’t follow the religious patterns of his day. We’re trying to follow His lead by not just going with the flow for the sake of being comfortable or safe.”
As acclaim for their new album rises, Cloverton looks forward to the future.
“None of us are into compromising or settling for the status quo. It’s a daily choice. To what or who am I surrendering today?” Lance says. “We all have a choice to either conform to the worldly patterns set before us, or to pioneer a new way. We all are committed to our God given passion and we’re willing to choose a different path to be faithful to His calling. We hope others will be inspired to do the same.”
“We fell in love up on Calvary’s hill. You knew the needs of my heart. We parted ways with the patterns that made us separate at the start.”