This week’s Frothy Monkey Local Artist of the Week is The Explorers Club, and we’re spinning their cover of “Come Softly to Me” by The Fleetwoods.
Though the group originated in South Carolina in 2005, they sound like they formed in California circa 1962. The Explorers Club carries the torch ignited by groups such as The Beach Boys and The Mamas & The Papas into the 21st century with ease. Lead vocalist and frontman James Brewer has guided a variety of bandmates through eight album releases over nearly two decades. Those albums were accompanied by EPs and singles, including “Come Softly to Me.”
On past releases, such as the 2016 album “Together,” Brewer took another step towards the band’s roots. He called some of Brian Wilson’s bandmates, such as Darian Sahanaja and Probyn Gregory, down to Nashville to add harmonies to the record. These musicians have backed the former Beach Boy for decades, and have also performed in their own group The Wondermints. With this cover, however, Brewer slims down the accompaniment, with a beautiful arrangement that lets the song speak for itself.
Departing from the doo-wop background vocals of the original, The Explorers Club lay steady oohs behind the choruses. The tempo is slowed and an organ guides the song through three minutes of casual romance. The result is more “Under the Boardwalk” than “California Girls,” with Saxophones and a violin entering along the way. The result is a poignant take on the once playful classic.
Though summer’s gone, The Explorers Club will continue to deliver unforgettable west coast harmonies to music city. Catch them in concert this Friday at Musician’s Corner, and listen to their rendition of “Come Softly to Me” here.
Tune in to 100.1 FM and lightning100.com all week to hear “Come Softly to Me” by Explorers Club, our Local Artist of the Week!