“Night school” is an interesting, but not inaccurate, way to characterize Neon Indian’s music. His chillwave explorations in the Naughties had an irresistible SXSW-day-drinking slant, but 2011’s Era Extraña worked with a thoroughly nocturnal canvas, with results ranging from ecstatic and hazy to total burn-out. Fully embracing the night, Alan Palomo returns today with “Slumlord”, the first single from his new album Vega Intl. Night School. It finds the Indian channeling Michael Jackson-era funk through the lens of recent, widely-available technology—this ain’t no “Get Lucky”. Modern-indie takes on MJ aren’t exactly novel these days, in large part due to the flurry of activity from Toro y Moi in recent years—his 2014 album as Les Sins was actually called Michael—and it’s hard to ignore just how much Palomo sounds like Chaz Bundick here. Still, it’s been a while since Mr. Bundick has written a song as enjoyable as “Slumlord”, and I’m curious to see where Palomo goes with Night School, not to mention what songs with titles like “Smut!” and “C’est La Vie (say the casualties!)” actually sound like.
Vega Intl. Night School is out October 16. Listen to “Slumlord” below:
Neon Indian, Vega Intl. Night School:
01 Hit Parade
03 Street Level
06 The Glitzy Hive
07 Dear Skorpio Magazine
09 Slumlord’s Re-Lease
10 Techno Clique
11 Baby’s Eyes
12 C’est La Vie (say the casualties!)
13 61 Cygni ave.
14 News From the Sun (live bootleg)