Get the latest FREE JFH MP3 compilation!
Get the latest FREE JFH MP3 compilation!

JFH Indie Review

JFH Indie Music Spotlight Review

Cloverton

Cloverton
Bloom

Street Date: September 8, 2017
Style: Pop Rock
Official Site: Official Website
Buy It: iTunes
Buy It: AmazonMP3



You don't need a major record label anymore to have a relatively successful career in the music industry. Bands like The Gray Havens and Listener build their brand the old-fashioned way: putting out good music, playing great shows, and letting their fans make them famous. The Kansas-bred pop rock band Cloverton has seen a fair amount of success as well, almost entirely without any professional help from the industry. Three years after their last album, Patterns, with a new line-up, they're moving forward and keeping their momentum running with their latest album, Bloom.

The early days of Cloverton seemed to be fraught with identity issues. With a very distinct comparison in sound to Third Day, there was little to help the band stand out. Over the years, the band has tinkered with their sound and branched out a little more to find their own sound, and that's noticeable on Bloom. Lance Stafford's vocals are a lot lighter and more poppy these days, closer in sound to Steven Page from the band Barenaked Ladies. The new members have come together with Lance and Layne Stafford and have seemingly already found a nice groove with a sound that leans heavily toward alt pop and alternative.

The opening track is a great example of what Cloverton can accomplish, with dancey synth, a mid-tempo beat, and a catchy melody complete with a chorus of "oh oh ohs" to get stuck in your ear. The next track, "More," is an even better example, with a wonderful sound that could be compared to bands like M83 and Grouplove, except with lyrics that focus on the worth of Jesus Christ. "More" is still very much a pop song for the radio, but it has more than enough indie pop sensibilities to help it break the monotony of such a genre. "99" has similar characteristics, though it also features a nice back-and-forth tonal shift, where the verses are a little brooding in an '80s new wave style, but the choruses are lighter, Phil Collins-esque, and perhaps a bit celebratory. Then there's "Horizon," whose verses feature some twinkling electronic sounds over a bass-led rhythm and drum machine that, when combined, reminds me of The Cure (particularly "Close To You"). I don't think it'd be untrue to say that the synth and electronic parts are some of the strongest aspects of the album. However, that isn't to say that the organic instrumentation isn't worth noting, as the band makes great use of jaunty piano (see "Miracle"), and the closing track, "Quiet Streams," is an excellent acoustic ballad that features mostly acoustic instrumentation.

Bloom also benefits from some strong melodies and uplifting lyrics, but this area also serves as a somewhat minor point of weakness for the band. "99" serves as an example again, with a catchy melody throughout the song, but some head-scratching lyricism in the chorus. At first, it's completely understandable, but the last line is puzzling: "99, oh 99, the miles I walked were 99, oh 99, years I was lost till You would find, You would find me, bring me back to 99." The idea is simple: we walk a long, hard road to end up where God has planned for us, but the "bring me back to 99" is a little confusing. As I mentioned, however, it's a minor point of weakness, as is the song "Wineskins." The song features solid lyrics based on the metaphor Jesus used about pouring new wine in old wine skins, illustrating our need to be new creations in Christ instead of just patched-up versions of ourselves ("Don't try to cover up the holes with patches that are fragile and stitches that won't hold, these patterns hold us in a line, we need an alteration, the old self must be left behind"), but the arrangement and staggered rhythm are unappealing and cause me to skip the song with each listen. But thankfully, the good outweighs the negative here, with strong tracks like "More," "Hiding Place," and the ethereal love song "See the Moon" to beef up the tracklist.

Historically, Cloverton has always seemed like a hit-and-miss sort of band, with some strong singles, but others that don't really stand out. But it seems like the band is truly finding itself, exploring sounds and themes in which the members excel. Bloom is Cloverton's best work yet; a fresh-sounding alt pop album from a band that keeps improving and has a bright future ahead of it. Old fans will be delighted with this new batch of songs, and new listeners should become fans with ease.

- Review date: 11/22/17, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com



(JFH Sponsor Spot)

Check out the new album from Rev Music!

 

JFH Indie Spotlight Review . Record Label: Beautiful Dust Music
. Album length: 12 tracks: 45 minutes, 19 seconds
. Street Date: September 8, 2017
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: AmazonMP3

  1. Here It Comes (3:06)
  2. More (4:09)
  3. Circles (3:52)
  4. Miracle (3:14)
  5. Horizon (3:28)
  6. 99 (3:55)
  7. Hiding Place (5:40)
  8. See the Moon (4:08)
  9. Bloom (3:18)
  10. Wineskins (3:38)
  11. Waves (4:09)
  12. Quiet Streams (2:42)

 

 

 

 

go to main Indie review page
go to Indie Review Index

 

              
Check out the new album from Rev Music!

Search JFH




This Thursday, May 19, 2022
SINGLES
Switchfoot interrobang (b-side) - Single [Fantasy]


This Friday, May 20, 2022
ALBUMS
Avalon Worship Avalon Worship [Red Street]
Bryan & Katie Torwalt I've Got Good News [Capitol CMG]
Amanda Cook State of the Union [Provident]
DeGarmo and Key No Turning Back Live (1982) [Remastered] CD [Girder]
DeGarmo and Key Mission of Mercy (1983) [Remastered] CD [Girder]
DeGarmo and Key Communication (1984) [Remastered] CD [Girder]
DeGarmo and Key Commander Sozo (1985) [Remastered] CD [Girder]
DeGarmo and Key Streetlight (1986) [Remastered] CD [Girder]
DeGarmo and Key D&K (1987) [Remastered] CD [Girder]
DeGarmo and Key The Pledge (1989) [Remastered] CD [Girder]
Gateway Worship Español Grande Y Fiel (Great And Faithful) [Gateway/Integrity]
The Perrys John 3:16 [StowTown]
Watashi Wa People Like People [Tooth & Nail]
Paul Zach Sorrow's Got A Hold On Me (independent)

SINGLES
Awaken Music Revive Us - Single [The Fuel]
Ty Brasel God is the Best (feat. 1K Phew) - Single [IVAV/Word]
Maverick City Music Kingdom (feat. Kirk Franklin) - Single [Tribl]
Rend Collective Plans - Single [Capitol CMG]
The Talleys I Don't Belong - Single [Crossroads]
Zahna Prayers in the Dark - Single (independent)


Next Thursday, May 26, 2022
SINGLES
ICF Sunday Night Perfect Love - Single [Integrity]


Next Friday, May 27, 2022
ALBUMS
ICF Worship Here's To The One We Love [Integrity]
Mission House Live From Raleigh [Integrity]
TAYA TAYA [Capitol CMG]

SINGLES
Ian Yates God You’ve Never Failed Me - Single [7 Core]

For all release dates, click here!
 



Listen to the New EP by Iryne Rock!




Sign up for a JFH Indie Review