New Music: The Explorers Club, “Grand Hotel”
I love new music. And I love old music. Therefore, by extension, there are very few things I love more than when new bands make old music. Jangly Beatlesque pop? Bring it on. The fine folks at Daptone? Can’t get enough of that. A modern twist on 70s piano-based singer-songwriters? Whose car are we gonna’ take? My latest crush (as in I-had-no-idea-this-band-existed-less-than-24-hours-ago latest) is South carolina sextet The Explorers Club, whose second album, Grand Hotel, was released a few weeks ago on Rock Ridge Music.
The Explorers Club revisits the sound of 60s L.A. studio pop, when rock guitars mixed with orchestras, pedal steels, and electric sitars in a sun-kissed, reverb-drenched pop paradise. This is the best of what we’ve been dissecting in our Digging For Gold series thrown into a blender and served with an umbrella. Try to imagine Bacharach chords played by the Wrecking Crew with a few trumpet solos from Herb Alpert, sung by Johnny Rivers fronting the Beach Boys.
But as with all retro acts, sonic recreations mean nothing without the songs to back them up. The choruses on “Run Run Run” and “Go For You” alone are enough to keep you coming back for more, and the lush instrumentals will make it feel like summer. It helps that Grand Hotel was mixed by Mark Linnet, who recently worked on the Beach Boys’ SMiLE box set. This is gorgeous stuff, folks. Give it a listen.