The Orkids
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The Orkids

Decatur, Georgia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Decatur, Georgia, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative EDM


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Briefcase"

The debut EP from the Athens band The Orkids is one catchy pop album. Each one of its five songs could easily be a radio hit. The combination of catchy vocals and exhilarating guitar riffs makes this an album to play on repeat. It's not hard to tell they are having a rocking good time, and one listen to these songs will leave you dancing, or at the very least nodding your head along with the intoxicating beat.

-Maggie Summers, Blur Magazine March 2010- - Blur Magazine-March 2010

"The Okids: Paper Dolls Release Party!"

Very few musicians can fall in love with their bands as quickly and intensely as The Orkids have. It only takes a short conversation with them to understand how excited they are about this project. The Orkids only have a handful of shows and a few songs under their belt, but none of that really matters to them. The members all agree: this is the best band they’ve ever been in.

“I could probably get a tattoo right now and not regret it,” says singer Sandra Gallardo. Her bandmates readily nod in agreement. It’s a bold statement for such a young Athens band, but if The Orkids' new EP Paper Dolls is any indication, they have good reason to be excited.

The poppy record has already found fans around town with its infectious dance-rock feel, lyrical edge and vibrant harmonies. Paper Dolls revels in the details of busted relationships, manipulations and all the things people use to cope. It dances around electronica, flirts with some vocal effects, and leaves a major melodic imprint on your brain. In short, it’s almost ridiculously radio-friendly. Not that The Orkids mind that at all.

“Yeah, it’s pop,” says bassist Sheldon Wolfe, “but we like playing it and we’re not apologizing.” Paper Dolls is also largely responsible for getting the current Orkids line-up together. Gallardo and guitarist Adam Monica began the group as a duo, posting their unpolished songs to MySpace. Monica knew Wolfe, keyboardist Joshua Schwarber, and drummer Brad Lee Zimmerman from playing in other bands around Athens and Atlanta. They had worked together before, so when they heard Monica’s recordings with Gallardo, the trio wanted in on the project.

Though most of the band had already experienced the less-than-great aspects of the music biz in previous groups, they were all excited by The Orkids’ sound. Even more impressive was the talent that Gallardo brought to the band despite having very little experience performing at all.

“Sandra is just really great at owning these songs, making them hers,” says Schwarber. “She’s still pretty new at this, but she’s autodidactic when it comes to performing. It’s just there.”

On the record, Gallardo is a one-woman vocal force of nature, making you believe with every yelp and purr that she lived through all of this relationship drama herself, especially on the title track. It is an indication of Monica’s songwriting chops that he actually wrote “Paper Dolls” from a female perspective that was easy enough for Gallardo to step into without falling into a cliché.

The band itself is a tightly knit machine, courtesy of intense marathon rehearsals. With both Zimmerman and Wolfe living in Decatur, practice time is precious. Sessions can take up the better part of the day when the band does get together. Such a situation has the potential for a lot of conflict, but The Orkids claim a connection that allows all ideas to be heard and accepted without much problem at all. They try to keep their egos in check in order for the band to sound its best.

“Sure, there could be 10 minutes when I’m just standing up onstage not playing anything,” says Schwarber. “I at least know that there is a good reason why the song doesn’t need me.”

The Orkids won’t be content with a less-than-excellent show. Every ounce of effort and gallon of gas is worth it when a concert rolls around, says the band. The concerts are a full-on musical onslaught, bolstered by the passion of a group that honestly believes in its product. The members feel that playing in a band like The Orkids is a once-in-a-lifetime deal.

“It’s great to be able to look over and see the band and just share a look or string of notes and know exactly where everyone’s at,” says Schwarber.

"After all, why not give it everything you’ve got?" Gallardo agrees: “I’m not getting up there to sing karaoke!” she says.

The Paper Dolls EP release show at the 40 Watt will also mark one of the longest gigs the young band has played. Until recently, The Orkids had a pretty small set list, consisting mainly of the tracks from the EP. Hours of practice and some songwriting sessions have yielded plenty of new material, though. With such a fast ride towards being a fully functional band, it would be easy for The Orkids to show off a bit, but they’d rather just offer an honest "thank you," instead, by giving away copies of the EP at the show to anyone who buys a ticket.

“We know that we are extremely lucky,” says Zimmerman. “We’ve gotten a lot of support from our friends and a lot of people around Athens, which is always cool.”

The Orkids are hoping their passion for the music connects them to the crowd as much as it has connected the bandmembers to each other.

“We’re like a family,” says Zimmerman. “It can sound cliché, but we really are.”

-Jordan Stepp-
- The Flagpole: January 30th, 2010

"The Orkids: Artist of the Day Jan. 26th, 2010"

The Orkids have burst onto the Athens music scene with a fire in their hearts. It seems that in every publication in Athens – Blur, Flagpole, Jake to name a few – there they are. And good for them (there’s nothing worse than a decent band that can’t figure out the PR game). They just had their EP release party at 40 Watt last Saturday. Congrats to the young band.

The Orkids are an electro-rock band formed in Athens by guitarist Adam Monica and singer Sandra Gallardo in late 2008. Their sound is pop at its finest. It seems like it’s been awhile since a pop EP has caught many a ear, and theirs has definitely done just that. It’s infectious enough to listen to over and over again, which is just what The Orkids want.

Originally a studio effort between Adam and Sandra, they picked up three veteran Athens musicians, and created the five-piece rock/pop/electro band we now know as The Orkids. The addition of keyboardist Joshua Schwarber, drummer Brad Lee Zimmerman and bassist Sheldon Wolfe, has created an all-star ensemble. Released in late summer of 2009, their first EP titled Paper Dolls (which boasts great cover art) is a collection of five tracks that combine dancey beats with girl & boy vocals, each capable of being an instant radio hit.

Check out The Orkids on Facebook, Myspace, or their very own website. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the catchy pop tunes offered by this new, up and coming Athens band. Plus, take a look at their unique layouts, art & style. Pretty cool.

-Maggie Summers-
- Athens Blur

"The Orkids: "Paper Dolls EP" Review"

The debut EP from this local group is polished and propulsive, a dance record that slides across the spectrum from pop to electronica. When founding duo Adam Monica and Sandra Gallardo first posted tracks on their MySpace, the result was synth-heavy but sometimes swirled into more trip-hop sounds. Now, expanded into a five-piece, The Orkids have a more focused force behind them.

Much of the band's sound, from Monica and Gallardo's alternating lead vocals, to the synth sounds and crunchy guitars, calls to mind L.A. band Shiny Toy Guns. While The Orkids are not quite as aggressive in their delivery, I do think they have a chance of copying Shiny Toy Guns' radio success. Even the track I found unlistenable at first, the Autotune-heavy "What Is It with Me," eventually seeped into my subconscious. I was turned off by the robotic vocals effects at first (especially considering how strong Monica and Gallardo are as singers), but damn it if the tune isn't addictive.

But the strongest moments on the record are when Gallardo's sultry voice, unaltered, takes center stage—like the seductive melody of "Rain on Me." The tones that The Orkids employ could easily fall into dangerously Eurotrash techno territory if mishandled, but they are able to stay grounded in pop sensibility and rock rhythms throughout.

Still, I could imagine The Orkids finding a permanent home on some music fans' guilty-pleasure shelf, sitting snugly next to the latest Lady GaGa record. But that's no dig, people. Paper Dolls sounds totally pro, and the hit-making potential is strong.

-Michelle Gilzenrat- - The Flagpole: Jan. 13th 2010

"The Orkids Paper Dolls EP: VIP Bonus Album Digital Download"

The Orkids formed in Southern music hotspot Athens, Ga. in late 2008 and expanded into a five-piece in 2009, just in time to release their debut EP. Lead vocalists Sandra Gallardo and Adam Monica trade boy-girl harmonies over steadily-pumping dance-punk drums, guitar and bass, with joyous synths jumping in at all the right moments on title track “Paper Dolls.”

It’s not all party-time fun and games—"I just wanna give up, call it a night," they sing on “I Just Want Yesterday”—but they seem bent on making the best of every crappy day that rolls their way, right down to final cut “Gold,” the EP’s refreshing, lone acoustic track.
—Rachael Maddux- - December 2009

"The Orkids nudge onto Athens scene"

If at first you don't succeed… join another band until you find the perfect fit. That is exactly what each member of The Orkids did.

"It started with me and Sandra [Gallardo], just writing and recording songs," Adam Monica said.

Gallardo, Monica, Joshua Schwarber, Sheldon Wolfe and Brad Lee Zimmerman gave their music the old college try and came together to create a truly remarkable ensemble. Each musician has come from an exclusively different background, yet together they form a mash of music that makes perfect sense.

Having formed a relatively short time ago, The Orkids are working on nudging in on the music scene.

"It's a baby project, it's brand new; but I've had an opportunity to spit out tracks to industry people, and ears are definitely perking up. There is buzz already," drummer Zimmerman said.

Keyboardist Joshua Schwarber and bassist Sheldon Wolfe have played with Monica for five or six years, according to Schwarber. Zimmerman said he "used to play in a bunch of different bands around Athens."

Regardless of what it took to get each of them to The Orkids, the bandmates are staying there.

"I haven't been a part of a band in a long time, so I'm really excited," Zimmerman said.

When asked to make a comparison of their sound to other popular bands, Monica and Schwarber hesitated.

"The shows are going to be energetic - it's danceable, but yet edgy at the same time." Schwarber said.

The members said they know that on paper they may seem generic, but Zimmerman showed intense passion and belief for his band.

"For some people in Athens, pop is considered an automatic turn-off. There is something deeper going on; it's very heartfelt… it's very Athens," Zimmerman said. "It could be the future of Athens instead of what people dwell on, knowing what the past was."

-Jessica Brown- - The Red and Black: Aug. 31, 2009


Paper Dolls EP



The Orkids are an electro-rock band founded in Athens, GA, but now currently residing in Atlanta, GA. The Orkids combine danceable beats and edgy guitar/synth lines with catchy girl/boy vocals to deliver thrilling, infectious pop, drawing comparisons to bands such as Chvrches, Shiny Toy Guns, and Metric. The band is made up of Sandra Gallardo (lead vox), Adam Monica (guitar, vox), Joshua Schwarber (synth), Sheldon Wolfe (bass, backing vox) and Brad Lee Zimmerman (drums).

Featured as's Needle in the Haystack - 11/9/2010

Included in Paste Magazine's 30 Great Athens Bands - 2/21/2011

The song "What Is It With Me" was featured in the "Kryptonite" episode of the FOX TV show The New Girl

Band Members