Pterodactyl Plains is a genre-bending outfit that begs hyphenated descriptors: Electro-folk. Psychedelic-acoustic. Space-tribal. There are hints of hip-hop, glimpses of blues and a smattering of influence from groups like French electro-phenom Air. This might seem like too much for one band to handle, but part of Pterodactyl Plains' charm is its ability to meld seemingly disparate styles into one cohesive sound—sometimes ethereal, sometimes industrial, and always original. Tunes "Red Umbrella" and "Clean" are folk-trance, while the intro and outro, "Horizon" and "Horizon II," are lethargic, violin-and-ukulele-laced dreamscapes, and yet they compliment one another well.
The Trego-based duo of Kier Atherton and Jessica Kilroy are joined on the album by Chance Cole and Missoula's resident cellist, Bethany Joyce. Together they create a platform from which to launch Kilroy's plaintive, striking vocals. Whether layered in an angelic chorus or punctuating the song "Color" with spoken word, Kilroy's voice is certainly the star of the album. In fact, they should leave all the singing up to her.
Despite its unwieldy name, Pterodactyl Plains creates a surreal, dream-like world, one well worth visiting, even if you won't know what to call it when you get there.
Pterodactyl Plains plays a CD release show at the Palace Saturday, Feb. 20, at 9 PM with Modality. $5.