I first featured The Explorers Club in 2008, when their stunning debut Freedom Wind touted Beach Boys-inspired harmonies and echoes of surf-rock. It hit a sweet spot, to say the least. It wasn’t until last year that the South Carolina-based group emerged from a three-year slumber. In October they announced Grand Hotel, the long-awaited follow-up to Freedom Wind. You can pre-order Grand Hotel to ship on February 9th, which should do any fan of Brian Wilson or Burt Bacharach good. After listening to the album in full I can confirm it’s just as good as their debut (a review will come closer to the release date). Grand Hotel’s sound is less surf-rock and more throwback pop in the vein of a Bacharach or Dusty Springfield, but fans of Freedom Wind will not be disappointed. Their approach sounds more expansive and mature than before, with a surplus of ingenious creative outbursts as opposed to shiny replicas of the past. It also helps that Mark Linett, who has worked with The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson on several occasions, is mixing the new album.
With Grand Hotel nearly a month away, the band decided to offer the album’s first single – “Run Run Run” – for streaming. This is after they released three EPs the past few months for free, all including two demos from Grand Hotel and a cover of an artist that influenced them. You’d wish more bands would be as receptive to the undying anticipation of fans. Those EPs, and especially this excellent new single, should tide them over for another month. Thanks to the group’s manager Marc Nathan for the links:
http://amzn.to/explorersclub – The Californian Suite
http://amzn.to/CarolinianSuite – The Carolinian Suite
http://amzn.to/TEC_NewYork – The New Yorker Suite