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Epicurean

The Orchids

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Album Review

Epicurean: A Soundtrack compiles highlights from the slew of singles and EPs the Orchids recorded for the legendary Sarah label between mid-1988 and late 1990, each a singularly exquisite grace note from a group that, barring a subsequent re-release and re-evaluation of their mostly out of print catalog, seems destined to suffer as perhaps the great lost pop band of their era. The title derives from the enclosed quote, "the philosophy of Epicureans taught that the highest good is temporal happiness which is to be achieved by practice of virtues," in itself as apt a description of great pop music as any ever encountered; the virtues the Orchids practice are honesty, subtlety, and beauty, all manifested in their most classic melodies and achingly heartfelt vocals. Without losing sight of their trademark jangle-pop shimmer, the band covers an enormous stretch of stylistic ground over the collection's 20 cuts, shifting effortlessly from the soulful uplift of the opening "Peaches" to the string-tempered melancholy of "Blue Light" to the pre-Manchester club-psychedelia of "Something for the Longing."

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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Epicurean, The Orchids
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