Neon Indian, a relatively new band from Texas, released a long anticipated new album, Vega INTL. Night School, Oct. 16. The group first appeared on the music scene in 2009, with their debut album, Psychic Chasms, for which Rolling Stone named Neon Indian one of the best bands of 2010. Six years later, the new album lives up to expectation. Alan Palomo, who writes and records lead vocals for Neon Indian, goes above and beyond to gather together a hodgepodge of sampling and experimental sounds for an album that pulls listeners in and keeps their interest for the entirety.
First listen, simply put: there is a lot going on. The album consumes the listener in an indietronic, synthpop stupor with multicolored layers of sounds and transitions.
Overall, the album is of a vivacious 80’s sound mixed with easygoing reggae undertones. VEGA INTL Night School, as psychedelic and kaleidoscopic as it may be, remains surefooted and progressive. Palomo takes everything to the next level – from the synth progressions to the lyrical play of “Annie”, about a missing girl that Alan cannot find or get to answer her phone. The album grasps for 80’s roots, especially in the track “The Glitzy Hive”, where listeners can instantly be reminded of Prince. The cover of the album features Palomo posing in an 80’s synthpop artist and there is even a hotline set up for fans to call. A smooth, female voice will answer, “Hey there, sexy.” (Seriously, call the hotline! 512-643-VEGA). A listener could say the album is bizarre, but a better word here is eclectic.
“Slumlord”, a single released off the album, is sure to be a dance floor favorite, with heavy drums and a catchy collage of sound variety. “Slumlord” is dangerous, groovy, and fun as hell. Palomo stated in a press release, “Most of what I have learned about my 20s has happened after dark. People are just kind of more honest then. More deliberate. I like to call the places I go to Night Schools.”
“The Glitzy Hive” – vocals reminiscent of Prince