The Explorers Club

The first time I heard the Explorers Club it was by way of some Beach Boys-oriented message board. In 2008 the band’s first album, Freedom Wind, had just been released, and it was like the Brian Wilson album that Brian had never made, full of great songs, and beautiful harmonies. Naturally, Beach Boys Nation was ecstatic about it.

But the then South Carolina-based band didn’t want to be pigeonholed as tribute band, even a great tribute band. So four years later they released their second album and it showed some real growth. On Grand Hotel other influences began to emerge. There was still some Brian Wilson in the music, but you could also hear some Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Webb, and the Zombies, among a variety of ’60s and early ’70s pop stylings. The Explorers Club had deftly avoided the sophomore slump by expanding their palette to encompass more of the music that they loved.

The Explorers Club - California's Callin' Ya

Another four years passed, and during that time the band left their Charleston homes and relocated to Nashville. Following some lineup changes they began work on their third album, Together, which will be released on June 24. The album is something of a return to the sound of Freedom Wind, once again full of great songs and vocal harmonies that may remind you of the Beach Boys, while at the same time insisting that you recognize a band that has matured and come upon a sound that they can call their own. The album features guest spots by Darian Sahanaja, Probyn Gregory, Scott Bennett, and Nelson Bragg from the Brian Wilson band, and John Davis (Superdrag, the Lees of Memory).

Popdose is proud to present the exclusive premiere of the first single from Together, “California’s Callin’ Ya.” From the very first notes the single will return you to those gentler days spent on your favorite beach, with the transistor radio playing next to you on the blanket, or those summer nights driving the coast road with the top down and the wind in your hair. It’s two-and-a-half minutes of pop perfection.

About the Author

Ken Shane

Ken Shane lives in Narragansett, R.I. He is a freelance writer and far and away the oldest Popdose writer. In fact, he may be the oldest writer, period. He wants you to know that he generally does not share his colleagues' love for the music of the '80s, and he does not forgive them for loving it. (Ken passed away in November 2022. R.I.P. —Ed.)

View All Articles