Texas-based electronic artist Neon Indian’s (aka Alan Palomo) new record VEGA (previous recording moniker) INTL. Night School is a cohesive blend of synth-funk-chill/lo-fi genres will make the hairs on your ears standup and cause your eyebrows to raise a few times. Further, part of you will be completely mesmerized by the sounds while the other part of you will be wondering how this artist known for his lo-fi production was able to cohesively blend lo-fi and dance beats into one. However, Palomo has created his best work yet with his follow-up to Era Extrana.
We kick-off the album with “Annie”, which sounds like a collaboration between 80s Phil Collins and Ariel Pink. The tropical beats mixed with new wave and underwater-like speakers make for Palomo’s most ambitious effort yet. While tracks like “Street Level” and “The Glitzy Hive” have heavy 80s new wave street cred graffitied all over them. “The Glitzy Hive” has an 80s beat even Olivia Newton-John would die for. Palomo loops “Move Ya Body” over and over on this incredibly catchy track that will appeal to dancers and new wave fans alike.
“Dear Skorpio Magazine” has a very paranoid-underwater feel again and the feel is a bit more closely-aligned with Psychic Chasms. In the paranoid love song Palomo exclaims “feel a certain way/when she looks this way.” Then “Slumlord” brings us into a darkened corner of a nightclub and yanks us out a few seconds in back onto the dance floor.
“Never coming home again/till they see the world as I see you” is the chorus of the chill wave jam “Baby’s Eyes.” The song is a bit spliced up but you almost can’t tell as it smoothly transitions into an angsty ballad. “61 Cygni Ave” picks up the weird again with a funky, new wave vibe that sounds like a futuristic song of the 80s.
VEGA ends with “News From The Sun”, which is a a very upbeat track that ties the feel of the album together with its chill-wave/new-wave/lo-fi vibe. Palomo allows you to dance, lounge, and break dance on this record and he does it in a way that few can with fresh sounds, funky new beats and new sounds.
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4.5 out of 5 stars