steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Orchid Pool

"Imaginary Instruments EP" 7"

Happy Happy Birthday To Me

Genres: indie pop, twee pop

Jan 20 - 26 2003

The Imaginary Instruments EP is a neat little seven-incher that's been released in an edition of 500 on the fantastic Happy Happy Birthday To Me label. Each copy contains a handmade drawing by one of many elementary and middle school students asked to draw pictures of "imaginary instruments" (more info here). My copy had a picture of a "GuPiano," a cross between a guitar and a piano. The record itself is three songs long, with two short ones on side A and one longer track on side B.

"When You Gonna See Things My Way" is an immediately catchy pop song that has some nice piano and clarinet laid under the vocals. Its Of Montreal-esque sound will get stuck in your head in no time. "Sea Monkeys," which shares the side of the record, is another wonderfully catchy tune, written by Kimberly (the two others are credited to Tony). It has a pleasantly cheery sound, with funny, happy lyrics about a "sea monkey ocean zoo."

On the other side is "Lullaby For DeVon Smith," a slow, calm tune about an "impossible man [who] drives an impossible van." It is less cheery than the other tunes, instead favouring a calmer, sadder sound that really makes your eyes water. The cello and xylophone (as well as the guitar strumming) work effectively in adding a sense of magic to the song, while at the same time adding a childlike innocence that recalls the record's concept. It's the perfect tune for a cozy winter night, bundled up with a loved one by the fireplace.

The band have a catchy pop sound and a fresh style - they use unconventional instruments like the trumpet, the clarinet, the xylophone, and the French horn on top of their simple ditties to produce a wonderfully fun sound. Altogether, the Imaginary Instruments EP is a great pop seven-inch with a great concept; go out and get it before it sells out!

Fun Fact: The Orchid Pool is actually Tony and Kimberly Paglia, a husband and wife duo from Athens, GA.  You can check out some of Kimberly's mini-comics here.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 3 songs, distributed by the label, released 2002]