Clover’s Curfew blends traditional, raw elements
for a sound that’s all their own
By Cory Olsen
If there’s one thing that can be said about the music scene here on Long Island, it’s that there is no shortage of brilliant musicians. On nearly any given evening one can find talented acts performing at a myriad of venues from Montauk to the Queens border. Every so often in this sea of great music, however, you come across an artist who is creating something so unique and exciting that it sets them apart. The listener can’t help but find themselves carrying their songs days after the show has ended.
Clover’s Curfew is one such band. Fronted by couple Jameson Jenkins and Danni Christian, with Cameron West on drums, Clover’s Curfew has created a sound and an energy that is impossible to ignore. Their unique blending of musical genres, coupled with their disparate vocal styles, results in an illustration of beauty in contrast. With catchy songs driven by a fierce energy, Clover’s Curfew brings an intensity to their music that can best be described as infectious.
Clover’s Curfew could best be described as residing at the intersection of traditional folk music and punk rock, with influences that span a spectrum of rock and roll. Jameson’s acoustic guitar is accompanied by Danni on a range of instruments including ukulele, mandolin, violin, and bass. Cam, the newest member of the band adds a pulse that drives the band forward. The combination of Christian’s melodic voice contrasted with Jenkins’s growling, screamed vocals provides a steadfast energy.
Both Jenkins and Christian have a love of music that started early on. For Christian, she recalled spending hours listening and sharing music with her father. “My dad and I used to sit up for hours when we only had one house computer. I remember when I got my first little laptop, we’d send emails back and forth of songs to listen to. We’d be sitting next to each other, with our headphones on, listening.” Her early listening covered a wide range of styles from Bruce Springsteen to Barry White to Motown.
For Jenkins’ his early influences were largely punk, included bands like The Exploited and Murphy’s law. Jenkins explained how their backgrounds have influenced each other over time: “Danni has a very full knowledge of folk. I think that we continue to rub off on each other and kind of share that influence on each other.”
The band, founded by Jenkins and Christian, got its start when they began writing music together in early 2018, but their story begins long before that. Jenkins moved around frequently with his family in his youth and eventually landed at Sachem North High School. After sharing a few classes together, Jenkins and Christian became friends. Over the next several years they passed in and out of each other’s lives as they each navigated different relationships and musical endeavors.
They began writing music together on a cheap ukulele Christian bought, As Christian put it, “I bought this cheap little ukulele, brought it over to his place that night and we started playing it. That was the night that ignited everything I think”. At the time, Jenkins’ band was in the process of breaking up, but Christian’s band was still going. Jenkins accompanied them on a trip to Austin, Texas where they were playing the South By Southwest festival. It was then that something shifted.
Christian and Jenkins continued writing together and creating new music as cracks began to emerge in her band. It was soon apparent that a new path was emerging, the songs written together on the cheap ukulele became the genesis of Clover’s Curfew. The name comes from how time seems to stop when you are doing what you love. “It’s the magical hour when we’re up on stage and we’re in the inertia of what we’re doing. In that moment of anger, passion and love, all these things mix together. You’re not thinking about any anything else other than what you’re doing right there and with those people that you’re doing it with. It goes for anything; for us, it just happens to be music. And so we we figured, Clover’s Curfew is perfect. Nothing else matters except for what you’re feeling, what you’re playing, the sounds you’re making and the feelings you’re sharing.”
With the excitement of a new musical beginning, as well as having overcome personal struggles, Jenkins and Christian launched themselves in a new direction. A drummer and bassist rounded out the band, and momentum continued to build.
Then came the pandemic. As the world shut down, Christian and Jenkins soon found themselves the sole members of the band once again. The virus was not enough to stifle the creative energy for Clover’s Curfew. As they explained, “Let’s figure out the next step, We’re grateful at least we had each other and still had songs right? And we could still do the things that needed to be done”.
Within a short time they had added what may be considered one of the signature elements of the band, an old camper van dubbed “Pearl”. Soon they were on the road, crossing the country with a van full of instruments and battery- powered amplifiers. It was on this trip that a new era for the band emerged. As they put it, “well, we’re musicians. Everybody’s turning to the internet. We have the internet. You know what, let’s make a YouTube series and we’ll provide music to people that don’t have music right now and keep it fun and interesting.“ With a new sense of purpose they continued their tour of the country, making music to share with the world and meeting some of the people who help shape the band’s future. Among them was Jesco Payne, who operates a recording studio called Low Shelf Recording in Portland, Oregon. Christian recalled: “I was like, let’s hit him up, let’s try to do like a song record and Jameson was like, you think we should? Do you think we’re prepared with a new song? So we met up with him in Portland. It was a very weird time to even be in somebody’s house. Especially not knowing each other, we were just two random strangers who were traveling in our van.” They recorded two singles at Low Shelf, “From My Throne” and “Make Believe.”
They returned to New York before briefly heading out once again, this time doing collaborations with artists such as Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! and Abby The Spoon Lady. From there they made their way back to Portland to record their first full length album, Skip The Small Talk. Upon returning they played a few local shows and were on the road once again, this time with a full band, for another 48-day tour.
Members of the band have come and gone. Recently they have added their current drummer Cameron West whose energy and enthusiasm is a perfect fit for the band. He comes on board in time to head back to Portland to record their latest Album, Sail Away, at Low Shelf Recording.
At the time of publication Clover’s Curfew is in the second leg of their nationwide tour. In October they will be returning to Long Island. The best way to keep up with the band is follow their Instagram account at @cloverscurfew or on YouTube.com/@CloversCurfew. October may be a long way off, but catching this band live will be an experience well worth the wait.