MusicRecord Reviews

Neon Indian

The audio-visual indie dance project helmed by young Alan Palomo rocketed itself to poster-boy status for the glo-fi/chillwave movement on the modest fuel of scrappy bedroom recordings. But with mixing and production help from Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, MGMT), this sophomore album is a document of light years of sonic advancement. With epic size and lush textures that encompass blinding Technicolor synth glitz and gooey electro-gaze, Neon Indian has now taken up residence on M83’s cloud.

Notable tracks include the neon ’80s dance sweeps of “Polish Girl,” the soaring digital romance of “Hex Girlfriend” and the woozy “Suns Irupt,” which leans and warps like My Bloody Valentine’s electronic sister. Absolutely essential ones are the breathless, silvery beauty of “Halogen (I Could Be a Shadow),” the taut synth-pop skip of “Arcade Blues” and especially “Blindside Kiss,” which takes a sudden and stunning Jesus & Mary Chain turn. And of the three-part instrumental soundscape peppered throughout, “Heart: Decay” is the loveliest passage. But for all the added luxe in Neon Indian’s sound, there’s a clarity and control that dictates all the flamboyance. And what makes Era Extraña so sky-worthy is simply Palomo’s towering pop ability.

Neon Indian is playing at the 40 Watt Club on Tuesday, Mar. 20.