Glasgow’s The Orchids were one of many wonderful bands released on Bristol independent record label Sarah Records between 1988 and 1994. The band reformed in 2004 and have continued to release occasional albums of melancholic and reflective electronics-infused guitar pop. Their track on the recent Skep Wax compilation “Under the Bridge” was a standout on an album of standouts, and “This Boy is a Mess“, the first song released ahead of a new album is also an attention-grabbing slice of beautifully constructed and arranged Pure Pop.

Their latest album DREAMING KIND, which is due for release on Skep Wax Records in September, was six years in the making, following the longest break without new music since the band began. Perhaps it’s just a case of acting on the promise of the title of their best Sarah Records album “Striving for the Lazy Perfection” released in 1994. Music is not a race. There’s no schedule to maintain, despite what Sp*tify’s robber-baron CEO may lecture bands.

If you are not familiar with The Orchids, there’s a long back-catalogue to explore, and in particular those Sarah Records singles, conveniently rounded up on the 2005 LTM CD re-issue of “Striving for the Lazy Imperfection”. It was the B-Side of their 1992 single “Thaumaturgy”, the perfect pop of “I Was Just Dreaming”, played by ardent fan John Peel on his radio show, and heard in NZ via a cassette tape of a Peel show, that first turned me on to the charms of The Orchids.

The Orchids are sometimes talked about as a kind of successor to Orange Juice but they are a more complex and eclectic offering, mixing their guitar-pop with synth programming, dance beats, mixing indie-pop, synth-pop and dance music, without losing the sensitive human side and emotional purity of their craft. Glasgow also produced the likes of Aztec Camera and The Blue Nile, and The Orchids seem to fit as comfortably alongside those artists as much as they do Orange Juice.

The Orchids are Ronnie Borland (bass, keyboards, guitar, backing vocals), James Hackett (lyrics, vocals, acoustic guitar, melodica), Chris Quinn (drums, percussion), John Scally (lead guitar, keyboards), Keith Sharp (rhythm guitar), and with Ian Carmichael (keyboards, rhythm programming), Pauline Hynds Bari (vocals), and Paul Quinn (percussion).