The Explorers Club, a band hailing from Charleston, SC, is proud to announce that the release date has been set for its sophomore set, "Grand Hotel" – it is scheduled for U.S. release via Rock Ridge Music (with distribution via ADA) on February 14, 2012. Mark Linett, who mixed The Beach Boys' "SMiLE" for Capitol Records (which was recently called "the most famous unfinished album in rock & roll history" by Rolling Stone magazine), was responsible for the mix on "Grand Hotel." The first single from the album, "Run Run Run," will go to Triple A and non-commercial radio in January.
The band was thrilled Linett was able to do the mix; as band mastermind Jason Brewer put it, "We're honored that he's signed on, and when we got the first couple of mixes back from him, we knew that 'Grand Hotel' was about to be enhanced beyond what we thought even possible! His association with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, among others, made him the perfect choice for us."
"Grand Hotel" is the long-anticipated follow-up to the band's close-your-eyes-and-you'd-swear-it-was-the-Beach Boys debut, "Freedom Wind," and was produced in Atlanta by band member Jason Brewer, along with co-producer Matt Goldman. It features fifteen tracks that once again take listeners back in time to a period when radio was laden with songs by Burt Bacharach, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, and pop mainstays like The Grass Roots.
In advance of the release of "Grand Hotel," the band readied three EP "suites" (each featured one cover song not on the album, bundled with two early "under-construction" [pre-Linett] mixes of tracks from the forthcoming set). The suites ("Carolinian," "Californian," and "New Yorker") were released in late 2011 for free download on Amazon.com.
Regarding the "Carolinian Suite," Obscure Sound wrote: "All three songs are exceptional… it's safe to say Grand Hotel is easily one of my most anticipated 2012 albums." Rawkblog commented on The Explorers Club's sound on the "Carolinian Suite," saying: "[It] finds them looking to Burt Bacharach's complex chords and Hal David's witty lyrics for further inspiration, a sound evident on 'Sweet Delights' — a track that nods back to 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.'" Hyperbolium lauded the "Carolinian Suite" as well with the following: "The Carolinian Suite offers up the Club's take on the Classics IV's 'Stormy.' The band relaxes the song's tempo a notch, giving the arrangement a terrific, loungey air; Jason Brewer's… gentle blue-eyed soul, the harmony vocals and the jazzy guitar at song's end are terrific. The EP's original tunes include a ballad ('Sweet Delights') that sounds like mid-60s Brian Wilson crooning from the Great American Songbook, and the Burt Bacharach-styled 'It's No Use,' featuring an emotional vocal coda that's equal parts Little Anthony and Dionne Warwick."
The band plans to begin touring in January moving through the release of the album (see initial tour dates below).
The Explorers Club's debut, "Freedom Wind," was released to accolades in 2008 via Secretly Canadian's Dead Oceans label, and tracks from the album appeared on such hit television shows as "Bored To Death" (HBO), "The O.C." (FOX) and "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS). The press praise was extensive and glowing:
- USA Today: "quite remarkable"
- Time Out Chicago: "indulgent fun"
- Uncut: "It's a toss-up whether Jason Brewer's classically crafted songs or the spot-on arrangements are more irresistible."
- The Onion AV Club: "the album is beautiful – wholly, deeply, and truly."
- UTNE Reader: "Pet Sounds just got 35 minutes longer."
- Chicago Reader: "pristinely perfect"
- San Francisco Bay Guardian: "instantly hummable soda-fountain swooners"
- Performer Magazine: "a wonderfully cotton-candy sweet album of indie-pop gems that bring to mind the breezy/orchestral pop of years gone by."
The Explorers Club is: Jason Brewer (guitars, keyboards, vocals), Dave Ellis (guitars, mandolin, accordian, percussion, vocals), Wally Reddington III (bass, vocals), Justin James (guitar, steel guitar, vocals), Paul Runyon (keyboards, vocals), and Kyle Polk (drums).
THE EXPLORERS CLUB TOUR DATES:
1/4 – Chattanooga, TN – The Honest Pint
1/5 – Nashville, TN – The End
1/6 – Asheville, NC – Emerald Lounge
1/7 – Savannah, GA – The Jinx
2/10 – Atlanta, GA – Vinyl
2/11 – Durham, NC – The Casbah
2/14 – Boston, MA – Lizard Lounge
2/15 – New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall
2/16 – Brooklyn, NY – Spike Hill
…more dates to be announced!