- Published on Thursday, May 10 2012
- Written by Kate Ferguson
Band names are often a little esoteric, as this one is, but I think Neon Indian perfectly lends to its indie-electronic format that has been described as “chillwave”.
The music is composed by Texas-based Alan Palomo, son of an ex-Mexican pop star, who is joined for performances by Jason Faries on the drums, Leanne Macomber on vocals and keyboard, and Lars Larson on live visuals. Palomo has also been in the band GhostHustler and has worked as the artist Veda.
The first album they released was Psychic Chasms in 2009, which was followed by Era Extrana in 2011. Palomo also released a 4-song EP in a collaboration with the Flaming Lips, which has unpredictable aspects but remains organized, blending darker space rock with dreamy pop. Pitchfork has awarded them Best New Music, and they have toured with Chromeo and Phoenix, as well as performed at a variety of music fests, including South by Southwest, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and, most recently, Coachella.
The sound is somewhat '80s-driven, with Palomo’s sweet voice and psychedelic aspects that come from sounds feeling washed out. Perhaps some inspiration comes from the pop star's father, who was active in the '70s and '80s; from time to time, he includes samples of his father's music in his. The music is sunny, with a variety of background noises thrown in, and some tape manipulation to add to the psychedelic aspect. There is something home-grown about the music, but nothing cheesy.
There is usually a running element of relationship reflection in music in general, and it's no different here, with songs like “Hex Girlfriend” (with a surfing video), and “Polish Girl” (which has a video game sound and matching video). The feeling of the music paired with the videos feels a whole lot like summer.
Lars Larsen is a crucial element in the group for the live visual addition, and he has also done some stuff for their videos. For the song “Mind Drips”, he utilized an analogue video synthesizer (that he developed) to manipulate screen images in the same way that normal synthesizers do to music. Its effects are recorded in real time along with the music so that it becomes a multi-sensory experience. Much like updating music elements from past eras, he is updating forgotten '70s art tools.
Keep your eyes peeled to see what they come up with next!
- Kate Ferguson, YH Staff
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