After quite the shock to the system that Era Extraña (2011) was, one, would have to wonder how Alan Palomo could equal it or better yet surpass its greatness. He does and in fact surpasses the greatness of Era Extraña, his second album release.
While Psychic Chasms (2010) brought one to a Willy Wonka world and Era Extraña was urban chic with a little of an outer space theme, Vega International Nigh School (2015), brings to mind an underwater nightclub. Of course only because the sounds heavily present throughout are not space ones but almost aquatic. Yet, we still must take into account its nightclub vibes.
Hit Parade is a relevant opener and even by itself is an interesting song to play again and again. Annie is personally the song that I think will heavily please tons of listeners. The mixes in this are very splashy and are easy for people to pick out but adding to this already pleasant atmosphere is the enigmatic lyrics. Street Level follows up with an air of splashiness too but its true appeal might lie in the headspinning tricks it makes someone go through. Some of the beats here are going much too fast and this might yet make for a dizzying song. I wholeheartedly applaud this. But what gets better is the way this progresses into a contemplative piece and somehow flawlessly proceeds into Smut!
Smut! has this palpable sultry and bar imagery going on. It’s a little surreal but grounded in reality while at the same time having some funny bits thanks to Alan Palamo’s vocal tricks. Along with Hit Parade, Annie, and Streel Level this continues the great streak of the album.
Next we have Bozo which is a short song but nonetheless entertaining with the infectious “video, video!”. Followed by The Glitzy Hive which offers some resounding advice by Alan Palomo, maybe. Who knows, at this point I am still unsure if Alan Palomo is trying to be profound or poetic. I would like to think both. But who knows. While more lyrics heavy it’s a calming and still pleasant piece.
Dear Skorpio Magazine honestly reminds me of 80s music and I don’t think that would be too out there since from what I hear (Mom and Pop) this whole project by Alan Palomo was started as a nostalgic project in tribute to 80s music. Yay to the 80s!
Anyway. Next we have Slumlord and this is what I call the beginning of a smaller story within these other stories. It is here that you start to see Alan Palomo’s love for the 80s most. Primarily through the lyrics as long as we have the night we can continue to party. And how it all culminates in long live the discotheque or the disco floor which shall lead to a diverse morning. Slumlord not closed until after the end of Slumlord’s Release.
After this we have a return back to the other less focused stories. Beginning with Techno Clique then Baby’s Eyes both exquisite songs, I might add. Followed by C’est La Vie, then 61 Cigny Ave, and finally News from the Sun (Live Bootleg).
It all has some noticeable tones (the aquatic and nightclub ones), themes, and a bigger central message (the nods to 80s music). Which is why I am heavily impressed by it. A lot of focus what given to this. And that is why I think this is the best album up to date that Neon Indian has produced. A lot of the songs off Vega International Night School open up and close in a deliberate way so as to bridge onto the next song so as to make this whole album cohesive. In my opinion, this isn’t an easy feat especially with something like Electronica music. So congrats to Alan Palamo! You did it.
[Vega International Night School was released October 16, 2015 by Mom + Pop (Mom & Pop). It contains 14 songs. Songs were written by Alan Palamo. ]
Vega International Night School Availability
About Neon Indian
Neon Indian is an Electronica band from Denton, Texas. Brainchild of Alan Palomo.