(Planet of Sound is a bi-weekly speculative fiction music feature.)
There’s this thing music geeks like to do, where we point to a lesser-known artist with a catchy pop sensibility and say, “Look at them! If only more people heard them, they would be huge stars already.”
In the case of Robyn, a Swedish pop singer who’s technically more indie than the Arcade Fire, the lament may be unnecessary; even after leaving a major label to release her albums herself, she’s had a couple worldwide hits and the love of a significant portion of the music-listening Internet. But, to Robyn fans, that doesn’t seem like quite enough – nobody mentions Robyn along with Rihanna, Beyonce, or Lady Gaga, and her album sales are miniscule by comparison.
Most likely, the things standing in her way are some of the same things that make fans love her: her down-to-earth relatability, her oddball humor, and the sense that she’s not “larger than life,” but in fact just life-size – your size. But there’s also the reason we’re gathered here today on Tor.com: her continued fondness for robots and science fiction metaphors.
Sci-fi’s gone mainstream now, sure, but I’m still not certain Top 40 radio is ready for an idol who goes on about androids quite as much as Robyn does.