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Striving for the Lazy Perfection

The Orchids

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Album Review

When indie pop fans speak of the fabled Sarah label and its roster, it seems that the Orchids are rarely afforded the same hushed, reverential tones received by the likes of the Field Mice or Heavenly, which is a great shame — the Orchids were one of the finest bands Sarah ever produced, and their masterpiece Striving for the Lazy Perfection is as good as anything in the label's storied catalog. Encompassing everything from dream pop to trip-hop, it's certainly a product of its time and place, yet it also possesses a certain timeless quality — though seemingly incompatible ingredients, the album's shimmering guitars, soulful backing vocals (courtesy of Pauline Hynds), and programmed beats add up to something unique and compelling. Moreover, while tracks like "Welcome to My Curious Heart," "A Living Ken and Barbie," and "Lovechild" are so dissimilar in style and sensibility as to sound almost like the work of three different bands, Striving for the Lazy Perfection is never less than the sum of its parts, held together instead by the scope of its ambition and the uniformity of its excellence.

Biography

Formed: 1986 in Penilee, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most prolific bands on Bristol, England's legendary indie pop label Sarah Records, the Orchids were also one of the label's most press-shy outfits. Formed in 1986 in Penilee, Scotland, a suburb of Glasgow, the Orchids took their initial inspiration from some of the city's better-known acts of the time, particularly Lloyd Cole and the Commotions (singer James Hackett sounded more than a little like Cole and was often derided in the U.K. press for that resemblance) and Primal Scream during...
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Striving for the Lazy Perfection, The Orchids
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