Dinosaur - Wonder Trail
Mercury shortlisted band Dinosaur continue to surprise and impress with their remarkable new album Wonder Trail. Dinosaur’s second album is as electrifyingly different as anyone who knows Laura Jurd’s track record would expect. Never one to be labeled, the fearsomely talented and multiple award-winning Jurd has a Miles-like way of taking her work and tuning it to illuminate a vast array of musical worlds. She’s done orchestrated and meticulously composed; jazz rock grooves; electronic minimalism; mainstream jazz and now, with her new album, Wonder Trail, and band Dinosaur, keyboard maestro Elliot Galvin to the fore, she’s plundered the synth-pop of the 1980s for a new sound. But this is not gratuitous borrowing, or any kind of hipsterish, retro post-modernism. For one, these are very current sounds (Broen’s an indie band with similar reference points that comes up in conversation). And for two, Jurd and Galvin use the poptastic-ness of the keyboard sound as a sort of tin opener to get into all kinds of serious musical areas - improvisation, vocodered strangeness, strutting rockishness, bucolic folkiness. But, as with any proper stylistic amalgam, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.