The Explorers Club
Great indie rock bands have long made a habit of recasting the music of our parents' youth. Turn on Dr. Dog, Olivia Tremor Control, or the Black Angels for just a few examples of bands who make glorious new music in classic molds. Now take the idea a step further. Take the homage just far enough that you can imagine yourself experiencing, say, the Beach Boys in their prime, but with fresh songs not tempered by a generation of Sweatin' to the Oldies. This is elation without irony. This is the Explorers Club's debut album, Freedom Wind. The Beach Boys are the obvious touchstone, but dig a bit deeper and you'll hear flourishes of Paul McCartney, the Byrds, Emitt Rhodes, ELO and doo-wop. Embracing a pop blueprint from a time when great songs were played on the radio and everybody loved them all, the Explorers Club has recorded the sweetest pop record you are likely to hear this year. The Explorers Club are doing for the summer beach song what Amy Winehouse has done for R&B or Sharon Jones for funk and soul, what Antibalas have done for Afro-beat. They're reclaiming the classics as their own, injecting them with life, and making music that that transcends any era. This is how pop music is supposed to sound. Prepare yourself. Freedom Wind is the soundtrack to the summer of 2008.