Orchids - I've Got a Habit
Download: Orchids - "I've Got a Habit"
Download: Orchids - Apologies
Download: Orchids - Give me Some Peppermint Freedom
After I did a write up of the Sea Urchins' Pristine Christine (here), a close friend that reads this blog on a regular basis sent me an e-mail demanding that I "never write about that Anglophile twee-pop bullshit again." Fair enough. Still, I can't help but love these dorky little twee-pop collections, and I certainly have enjoyed the hell out of the Sarah singles I've managed to collect. Sure, this most British of record labels is often on the receiving end of a critical circle-jerk, and most of that fetishization is probably undeserved. The romantic appeal of the label's DIY aesthetic and lo-fi production aesthetic definitely accounts for a good chunk of Sarah's positive press. But in most cases, the quality of the songs in the Sarah Catalogue--however simplistic they may be--cannot be denied.
Case in point: Orchids' I've Got a Habit. The second release in Sarah Record's history, Orchids' music fulfills all the label's stereotypes. The title track is built on a smooth, simple guitar line. In the background, jangly guitars and warm keyboards flesh out the barely-there melody while John Hackett sings about sunshine, eyes, longing and love. The first b-side, "Apologies," is less successful. Similar in execution to "I've Got a Habit," the melody is strong, but at nearly four (gasp!) minutes, the song overstays its welcome. The gem of the single is definitely "Give me Some Peppermint Freedom" (and not just because its got a great song title). The fat accordion chords at the beginning and swirling guitars set the stage for the absolutely majestic chorus. Make sure you listen with headphones; the words are hard to make out.