Christian rock band Carrollton is making tracks with its second album, “Sunlight and Shadows,” which released in mid-September. The album reached No. 9 earlier this month on the iTunes Christian Albums Chart.
I spoke recently with Justin Mosteller, the band’s lead vocalist and a guitarist, about the album. The Louisville, Kentucky native said the last three months have been hectic as he finished the album in late May and two weeks after he returned to his home near Cincinnati his third child was born.
Regarding the album’s success on iTunes, Mosteller said, “What is the definition of success?” He stressed the need to protect one’s heart. “It means something to you and you hope it helps somebody. It’s about us telling our stories and what God is doing in our lives right now. If we only sell 10, the songs have helped us.”
The band members say that “Sunlight and Shadows” aims to tell people that God is with them in the good, the bad and the mundane.
The first single from the album, “Let Love Win,” was a standout performance at the recent Momentum 2015 conference in Orlando, Florida. Carrollton was joined on stage with other recording artists from the Centricity music label, including Lauren Daigle, Jason Gray, Unspoken, Jordan Feliz, Andrew Peterson, Jonny Diaz and Jared Anderson.
“Let Love Win” speaks God’s peace into today’s tumultuous world, a press release states.
“So much has happened this year in Ferguson, Indiana, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Charleston, Chattanooga and now Lafayette that is laced with hate,” Mosteller said. “We believe the love of Jesus is the only hope we have to break the chains of hate. ‘Let Love Win’ is a song of conviction that we wanted to sing night in and night out to remind ourselves what Jesus has called us to. We feel strongly that in all things love should be our first step and the only thing we shout.”
Another song, “Meant to Be,” has a special meaning for Mosteller. His mother died suddenly of a heart attack last July. When he was a child, she sang “This is the day the Lord has made” to wake him. The bridge in “Meant to Be” pays tribute to her.
The band kept rewriting “Meant to Be” and time got tight. They were down to four days to finish the album and had to travel to Atlanta for two nights of performances before returning home and leading worship at church. They wrote the eighth and final version of the song in an uncomfortable van on the road.
Writing the song in the van was a “terrible experience, but it’s now fun to be able to sing about contentment. In Atlanta traffic, that’s an accomplishment.”
“That song describes where we are,” Mosteller said. “Its lyrics start out with life’s worries, but quickly crescendo into a worshipful song professing: I’m right where I’m meant to be. “If we’re following after Jesus, we’re right where we’re supposed to be.”
— Jason Reynolds, Tennessee Christian News