AlmostAGhost’s Best Albums Of 2010 – #23. Pterodactyl Plains – Raven

Montana's finest
only room in that straitjacket for you

#23. Pterodactyl Plains – Raven

I won’t lie, I know nothing about Pterodactyl Plains. I grabbed their record because I thought their name was cool. So this review will be woefully uninformed. Raven starts with some guitar and quiet humming, before delving into a diverse and excellent bunch of songs. Some of the songs sound like a band, some use drum machines/synths, others folky, some pop jazz. But all sound like Pterodactyl Plains wrote these songs somewhere far away, and they’re slightly twisted due to the isolation.

The main highlight is the singer, whoever she is. She has a voice that is both kind of crazy and inviting at the same time, like a cross between PJ Harvey and Norah Jones. Really, that’s lame, I should look up her name, hold on a sec. OK, her name is Jessica Kilroy. The group appears to be her and another guy, Kier Atherton, who also sings a little at the end of the record. Oh, they’re from Montana. (I was right about them isolated in nowhere, haha.). Anyway, there are two things underlying these songs which make them stand out: touches of psychedelia (the slight twistedness I’ve mentioned) and touches of groove. The groove is important. A lot of similar bands ignore that part entirely. (Looking at you, Beach House.)

Pterodactyl Plains. Is that actually a place in Montana then? I don’t know. But I do know that I really like this album they’ve made. I always appreciate bands that toss in lots of sounds and styles, while still maintaining their own thing. I’m also a sucker for female singers. So that adds up to one of my top albums of the year.

Here are a couple of tracks! Hope you like them as much as I do.

Pterodactyl Plains – Red Umbrella

Pterodactyl Plains – Straitjacket

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