“I listen to grandparents music,” The Explorers Club‘s Jason Brewer admitted to the Austin Chronicle, “I was like, ‘I want to be on the Lawrence Welk show’.” While the Explorers Club has more in common with the Beach Boys than, say, an all-female polka group, they are heavily influenced by the work of Burt Bacharach, Phil Spector, Jimmy Webb, and the Zombies. Their four-part vocal harmonies are incredibly beautiful, perhaps in part because Brewer’s parents were church choir directors. The band formed in Charleston, South Carolina in 2005, and is currently based in Nashville, with a brand new album, Together, out today on Goldstar Recordings.
The band has released two critically acclaimed albums – 2008’s Freedom Wind and 2012’s Grand Hotel. Many of their songs have been featured in film and television on major networks such as CBS, Fox, and HBO, attesting to their timeless qualities.
The Explorers Club’s songs are characterized by sunny lyrics and complex vocal and instrumental arrangements, awash in sleigh bells, various kinds of keyboards, fuzz guitar, and intricately arranged falsetto harmonies. The first single from Together is called “California’s Callin’ Ya” – as west coast a song as possible, and is what Brewer describes as the ultimate escapism song, saying ”I wanted that classic 6/8 feel – it’s about escaping everyday cold, dreary, life for fantasy fun in the sun”–bringing to mind the Beach Boys and the Mamas and the Papas. Brewer characterizes the tracking process as “The best recording experience we’ve had.”
“Perfect Day” was written for Brewer’s wife Krista – the band performed it on the couple’s wedding day (it should be noted that Krista plays flute on “Be Around”). “Gold Winds” is an ode to springtime with Rock-Si-Chord providing gentle accents to its message of transformation – co-writer Emeen Zarookian provides an assist on bass synth on it as well. Another stand-out is “Before I’m Gone”, about spiritual quests. Brewer says “We are overwhelmed by spiritual questions every day, it’s inescapable. This song is me singing to God my questions and thoughts. One line Mike brought in was ‘there is a cold wind calling me from a storm out on the sea (sung by John Davis) – it references the balancing act between spirituality and being pulled back to the realities of daily life.” In contrast, the first single from Together is called “California’s Callin’ Ya”–as west coast a song as possible, and is what Brewer describes as the ultimate escapism song, saying ”I wanted that classic 6/8 feel – its about escaping everyday cold, dreary, life for fantasy fun in the sun”–bringing to mind the Beach Boys and the Mamas and the Papas. Brewer characterizes the tracking process as “The best recording experience we’ve had.”
The Explorers Club will be bringing the sunshine to Grimey’s in Nashville for a free in-store performance to celebrate the release, tonight, June 24th, at 6:00 p.m.: http://www.grimeys.com/instores/
Purchase Together: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/together/id1104443944