The Explorers Club, a band hailing from Charleston, SC, has hit #27 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart following the first week of sales of their new album, “Grand Hotel.” (The album was released on February 14, 2012 through Rock Ridge Music, with distribution via ADA.) This is the band’s biggest sales week ever by far. Mark Linett, who mixed The Beach Boys’ “SMiLE” for Capitol Records, was responsible for the mix on “Grand Hotel.”
Says band leader Jason Brewer of the sales success: “We’re musicians first and marketers second, but with direction from our manager and label, we set sights on bolstering our Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube presence, and it’s exciting to see it pay off in sales.”
The first single from “Grand Hotel,” “Run Run Run,” went to Triple A and non-commercial radio in January. The band is getting love from two channels on SiriusXM satellite radio: Radio Margaritaville is currently playing a number of selections from both “Grand Hotel” and the band’s previous album, “Freedom Wind,” while The Loft has four tracks from “Grand Hotel” in rotation, including “Run Run Run,” “Bluebird,” “It’s No Use” and “Open The Door.” Local Charleston radio station WCCO/The Bridge has also been supportive of the band’s new music.
The Explorers Club just wrapped an Eastern U.S. tour jaunt that took the band through Atlanta, Durham (NC), New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and two stops in New Jersey, before they headed back to their home base of Charleston for their upcoming hometown album release show there on March 2nd at the Pour House. The band continues to plug in new dates in support of “Grand Hotel,” with a planned performance at a May 12th WMNF event in Tampa just confirmed (more info on the event here). Additional Florida dates will be booked around it. The band has been pleased with the support they’ve gotten from the independent music retail community: while on the road, they made a stop at Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ, for a very well-received in-store performance and autograph signing. Fans can check out video for the performance here and photos here. The Explorers Club is also planning a hometown in-store at Monster Music in Charleston on March 3rd at 2 p.m.
“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. Press praise has been effusive and extensive:
“Joy is definitely the key ingredient in the cinematic tracks on ‘Grand Hotel,’ from the playful bossa nova sounds of the album’s opener ‘Acapulco (Sunrise)’ to the cheerful whistling on the aptly named ‘Sweet Delights.’ It’s not just dreamy sonic escapism; ‘Run Run Run’ is an irresistibly catchy hit single in any decade, with an arrangement that will make you want to go up, up, and away in The Explorers Club’s beautiful balloon.” – PopShifter.com
“Most bands vehemently deny that they’re attempting to overtly re-create the sound of their influences, often going to great lengths to distance themselves from their inspirations. The Explorers Club seems to have no such issues with the sounds that inspired them — that’s not to say that they are mere copyists, but rather that they are experts at the art of homage. …While there’s an undeniable, late-‘60s sunshine pop vibe to many of the arrangements here, from the vocal harmonies to the horn sections, the Explorers Club nevertheless seems to have simultaneously inched along a little further on the calendar and widened their target. More than anything, Grand Hotel seems concerned with offering up tunes that could have been hits on early-‘70s AM radio.” – AllMusic.com
“The band’s palate has expanded to include the entirety of AM radio pop, including the Four Seasons (‘Anticipatin’’), Burt Bacharach (‘Summer Days, Summer Nights’), Neil Diamond (‘Open The Door’) and Herb Alpert (the title instrumental), (re)captured with fan-like immediacy rather than scholarly pedantry. The attention to period detail extends to the mix by Mark Linett, Brian Wilson’s engineer. More than a retro exercise, Grand Hotel is a musical time machine.” – Uncut Magazine
“In a world filled with auto-tune and sampled beats, beachy, breezy tunes such as “Run, Run, Run” and “It’s You” ring almost revolutionary with their innocent, layered harmonies, organ, and guitar recorded the old-fashioned way… …as easy as it is to find bits and pieces of Grand Hotel that sound more like B.J. Thomas or Todd Rundgren (‘Summer Days, Summer Nights’) than anything from the 21st century, The Explorers Club maintains an indie spirit that is inexplicably, undeniably 2012. Only, one needs to hear Grand Hotel to believe it.” – HuffingtonPost.com
To create awareness and excitement in advance of “Grand Hotel,” the band released 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 album). The suites (“Carolinian,” “Californian,” and “New Yorker”) were released in late 2011 for free download on Amazon.com, setting the stage for the success of “Grand Hotel” by making music available to fans early and garnering new fans through the availability of free music.
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 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).