Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Jon Ashley at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, N.C.
It's been about an hour since the movie that my wife was watching - a movie that we started watching together - ended behind me. It was a movie that dealt with all of these different angles to love, these stray stories that - wouldn't you know it - find a way to converge at the end to tie the whole thing together with a neat little bow. The theme that was interwoven throughout was that of there obviously being many obstacles and enemies to love, but that it's still nearly everywhere you look. It's getting badgered and threatened and people are misusing it like a motherfucker, but the basic core of the emotion, of one of the animal kingdom's requirements for satisfactory living and surviving conditions - LOVE, in all caps - is always abundant and usually adamant. It's striking and curious and often not at all what we originally make of it. It's stifling and agonizing. It's without any ideal definition or form and yet, it always seems to feel like one very simple and specific thing. It feels right. It feels good and it feels impossible.
Charleston, South Carolina's The Explorers Club have made themselves slaves to the imperfect concept of love for years, though they're the first to admit that there have been many before them. They carry the torch of people like Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney, Del Shannon, Dion and the Belmonts and the Sherman Brothers, who continually found a way to write about the traumatic state of being in love and feeling in love so that it was bathed in the greatest of sunshine and still hurt like a stubbed toe. The impeccable harmonies and musical directions that The Explorers Club take are powerfully throwback.
It's a bunch of men not bellyaching about the ways that their girlfriends or wives nag and boss them around, but rather how they can't wait to just run, run, run right back to them and get some more of whatever they're offering. They offer true examples of the sensation gone right. They make you want to rush out and make babies or renew your vows or whatever you've got together. It's like sitting in an easy chair and looking out at how good everything is, as it's seeping out of the hi-fi speakers like the spun candy that it is.