If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past month or so, you may recall coming across a couple of posts on indie electro pop sensation, Neon Indian. But just in case you might be new to the site, some backstory may be necessary: Neon Indian is the solo recording project of the Mexican-born, Denton, TX-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and electronic music artist Alan Palomo. With the 2009 release of Neon Indian’s debut album, Psychic Chasms, Palomo came to national attention, as the album was reviewed favorably by the likes of Pitchfork, who had named it one of its best albums of that year, and by Spin Magazine, who praised the effort for its dreamy feel.
The project’s sophomore effort, 2013’s Era Extraña, increased the project’s profile as Palomo backed by his live band featuring Jason Faries, Ed Priesner and Joshua McWhirter went on an North American tour with Purity Ring and Com Truise. This was followed by the Errata Anex EP, which featured remixes of material off Era Extraña from Optimo, Boyd Rice, Patten, Actress, and Twin Shadow — all of whom Palomo had recruited, because the Neon Indian creative mastermind had been listening to all of those acts quite a bit while on tour.
Late last year, Palomo announced that he was starting work on Neon Indian’s third full-length album, an effort that he hoped would be released sometime in 2015, which has been officially titled VEGA INTL. Night School. Night School’s first single “Annie” was recently released to critical praise from the likes of Pitchfork and Paste, as the song clearly drew influence from 80s synth pop and R&B — and was comprised of a taut yet sinuous bass line, angular funk guitar chords and shimmering and cascading synth stabs paired with Palomo’s plaintive falsetto — and sonically the song possessed an uncanny resemblance to Rush Midnight and the Cascine Records roster, which also specialize in an extremely similar, sleek and summer party funk. The album’s second single “Slumlord” was a slickly produced, densely layered song featuring layers of cascading synth chords stacked upon each other, wobbling bass, propulsive, four-on-the floor drum programming, and Palomo’s plaintive falsetto to create a sound that sounds as though it equally draws from 80s synth pop as it does from I Love You It’s Cool-era Bear in Heaven as it’s a club-banging electro pop tune with a sincere, aching heart at its core.
Night School‘s third and latest single “The Glitzy Hive” continues Palomo’s stretch of 80s-inspired singles as the song consists of wobbling bass, pumping beats and layers of cascading synth paired with Palomo’s dreamy falsetto to a craft a club-banging, party time sort of song that sounds as though it were channeling Cameo‘s “Candy” as it’s a funky, slow-burning and swaggering track.