It takes a rare performer to keep your attention for three minutes straight in only one take. For Orchid’s new music video, “Like Thunder” the Glasgow-born and London-based artist submerges herself into a tropical swimming pool and stays there for the duration of the track — splashing around in clothes, her movements following the track’s ebb and flow.
“I want that physical experience to be present in my music, from the most abstract version of it through to the most pop,” Orchid says of her experimental, left-field approach that’s comparable to artists like FKA twigs, Kelela or even Tinashe. “I want to find beauty in this real, actual life.”
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“Like Thunder” is the title track off Orchid’s debut EP, out April 8 on The Orchard, featuring previously released singles “Later,” “Doe Eyes” and “Body Money.” Ranging from songs built off Orchid’s poetry to others that fall into the bright, glossy world of Britney Spears’ production, Like Thunder underscores Orchid’s versatility, all while reflecting on her Iranian background.
The Donny Johnson-directed visual for “Like Thunder” unfolds in an almost spiritual way, like Orchid’s cleansing herself — cleansing the viewer. “I never thought I could do that,” she begins, reflecting on the holy qualities of this release. “I didn’t think mere mortals could be musicians. I love pop music like it’s my religion.”
Finding a balance between organic, natural influence and sensationally stretched reality, Orchid’s work stays connected to the world with respect to her love of fantasy. The Like Thunder EP artwork is a surreal, colorful papaya being eaten by a crystallized fly; the title track itself is sweeping and beautiful, sprinkling metallic, manufactured synths into an otherwise paired down ballad.
“I feel like I've really found my voice, both literally and metaphorically, in the past couple years,” Orchid says, speaking to the journey she’s taken to finally arrive at Like Thunder. “I'm really excited to become the person I'm meant to be and be more honest with myself.”
Watch the PAPER premiere of "Like Thunder" by Orchid — the self-proclaimed "Goth Pussycat Doll" — and pre-save her Like Thunder EP, here.
Photo courtesy of Donny Johnson