by Paul Bowers
Charleston band the Explorers Club, known for its pitch-perfect ’60s pop vocal harmonies, has a new album in the works — finally. The group gained some notoriety in 2008 with the collection Freedom Wind, an auspicious debut that garnered easy comparisons to the Beach Boys and landed the band soundtrack placements on The O.C. and How I Met Your Mother.
This month, bandmates Jason Brewer and David Ellis announced in a cheeky YouTube video that the band had recorded a follow-up album, Grand Hotel, It's currently being mixed in L.A. by former Beach Boys producer Mark Linett. The Explorers Club will also be releasing three “suites,” each featuring two originals and one cover song (like Burt Bacharach’s “Walk On By”), while Grand Hotel is being completed.
Certainly, the Explorers Club is a group of Gen-Y kids unearthing a half-decade-old Baby Boomer sound. But the interpretations are so faithful and the lyrics so simple and earnest that if you listen with your eyes closed, you’ll swear you’ve stumbled upon a forgotten Brian Wilson side project. Is it just a gimmick? As a Pitchfork reviewer once wrote, “It’d be a little tribute-bandy if it weren’t so damn effective.”
Visit explorersclubmusic.com for more. —Paul Bowers