Tag Archive for 'Pterodactyl Plains'

Life In Mixtape Form #78

Life In Mixtape Form #78 from almostaghost on 8tracks Radio.

A quick momentary break from 2012 nostalgia for some songs.

- almostaghost

AlmostAGhost’s Best Albums Of 2010 – #16. Robyn – Body Talk

Robyn - Body Talk

a single pulse repeated at a regular interval

#16. Robyn – Body Talk

There were a number of fascinating pop albums this year, like Nicki Minaj (bonkers) and Kanye West (huge) and Justin Bieber (kidding). But my favorite comes all the way from Sweden. Robyn released three EPs this year, Body Talk Pt. 1, Pt. 2 and Pt. 3. She also released Body Talk, which had five tracks from each part. All together, her Body Talks are an enjoyable and deep collection of songs.

Robyn’s music is built on the basics of pop music. There’s dancing, dancing alone, crying, boredom, heartbreak, dangerous love, robots. She hits on something primal, that when the body talks, listen. If you’re hurt, you’re hurt. Frustrations happen. Hearts break. Love kills. But through it all, she just keeps moving. “We Dance To The Beat” nails it all down: “we dance to the beat of continents shifting under our feet / We dance to the beat of false math and unrecognized genius / we dance to the beat of gravity giving us a break.” “Fembot” is the most poppy song here, and the main lines are “you split my heart in two / now whatcha gonna do?” Many of the songs have her reacting to this split heart, mostly by dancing. Other times by being sad. Other times by taking on the world.

A few songs show off Robyn’s sometimes dark and dry humor. “Criminal Intent” finds her pleading guilty to “lewd and indecent events” and is being incarcerated for getting “somewhat X-rated on the floor.” (“Would you pardon me for being inappropriately attired?”) This isn’t a surprise if you’re aware of Robyn’s raunchy and hilarious rodomontade from a few years ago, “Konichiwa Bitches.” Here, she and Snoop Dogg effectively write a sequel. On “U Should Know Better” the duo warn the French, the Vatican, Russians, the FBI, the CIA, the LAPD, and the Prince Of Darkness not to fuck with them.

Wikipedia has a quote from Robyn describing one of her songs as a “sweet and sour bon-bon wrapped in melancholy,” which sums her up better than I ever could. The melancholy wrapper around fun electro pop music and ideas makes Robyn’s Body Talk one of the tastiest albums of the year.

Here’s one song from each of the EPs:

Robyn – “Dancing On My Own”

Robyn – “U Should Know Better (feat. Snoop Dogg)”

Robyn – “Stars 4-Ever”

- almostaghost

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

- almostaghost