Review: Neon Indian ‘VEGA INTL. Night School’


Alan Palomo of Neon Indian is making his rounds through the indie circuit right now and people are being electrified by his powerful synths, easy demeanor, and 80’s Miami sound. “VEGA INTL. Night School” is one of several unique albums I have heard in a long time, and Palomo is bringing back some sounds that no one ever thought would be able to work. This album has the ability to take you back and make you feel like you are a cop on Miami Vice. The album was made over a four-year time span all across America, but the bulk of the album was created on a cruise ship that Palomo was on.

Palomo has now released three albums and has been stirring up buzz for many years now. People have been slowly hopping on this train of electronic meets indie music, and Palomo makes the two worlds coalesce with a vintage touch to it as well. With this album, Palomo is taking a deeper look into human nature and trying to show people that the true being of a person will come out after midnight.

“Annie” has classic tinges of reggae to it, but with a modern and pop-esque twist. It makes you want to dance around, rather than just sit there and bob your head. The song and album, in general, has a soundtrack vibe to it. I could see just about any of these tunes be the background music of a badass girl walking through the streets of a major city, ready to catch some Russian Communist spy. “Smut!” starts with what sounds like sassy gals talking in the back with a party layering over it. The groove is a slower song on the album, and there are glimpses of high pitched Michael Jackson like vocals.

“The Glitzy Hive” was one of the first songs I heard off the album, and that was when I was turned into not only a Neon Indian fan but a fan of 80’s pop music?! He crafts the old school 80’s sound into something that is not completely painful to listen to, and somehow masterfully with the help of some synthesizers modernizes it enough that it makes it something that just about anyone who loves any genre of music can listen to, appreciate, and love. “Slumlord” is overabundant with synthesizers and it makes me get all bubbly inside. It’s the most electronic song on the album, and probably the most fun song. The analog synths really help to real in that vintage sound, and the bass is just spine chilling. You can hear in his vocals the energy, and that comes through to the listener very clearly and smoothly.

“Techno Clique” makes me want to go out and buy a disco ball, get a big afro going, and get some stellar platform boots. This tune is the winner of the album to me because no matter what he is always trying to attract a modern and young audience, and this is definitely the song that will “steal the night” as Palomo reiterates throughout at any party, club, concert or a long drive. it’s glimmering with robotic synths and grungy vocals and makes you get that overwhelmingly euphoric feeling in your stomach.

Listening to an artist that you have never heard before is always an exciting and scary experience. You’re going out of a certain comfort zone and exposing yourself to something new. But that’s one of the greatest things about music. Never hearing a Neon Indian song before, this album truly blew my mind and made me have an even greater appreciation for so many different styles and genres of music. This album has the potential to take over the year and Neon Indian can and most likely will be the next big thing.


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