This album is what the big bang sounded like via the opening track “Heart: Attack.” At event horizon, nothing escapes. Sound and light and matter collapses into the smallest point of saturated everything–then the illusion of nothing, followed by the explosion and a displacement of all things. Neon Indian’s latest album Era Extraña, branches out into Alan Palomo’s ideal version of modern pop—processed and digitized.
After the opening track, Era Extraña is the byproduct of a displaced outer space where futuristic sounds wisp around catchy synth melodies. Just when a song seems to fill every space with sound, it folds inside out, revealing Alan Palomo’s pop swooning lyrics. In a very simple way, Palomo’s vocals travel for what sounds like light years through a cacophony of noise, but come out clear like the pseudo clarity brought on by a psychedelic experience. But to be frank, the vocals are underestimated—so many musicians that attempt to replicate this genre make the mistake of drowning their voice, and that’s where they lose me. Palomo, avoids this production crutch.
Unlike Toro Y Moi’s latest experiment with a most danceable form of the genre, Neon Indian strafes into something relaxing and transient. “Suns Irrupt” is where dance beats collide with tranquility. “Polish Girl” is the track that demands playlist rotation. It’s catchy, colorful and perfect for those still new to the genre. Everything else on the spectrum pushes limits with tranquil pop noises. Taking it all in is like setting off a self inflating raft in your head.
The single, “Arcade Blues” is not a bad track—not at all. But it doesn’t quite belong. It almost deserves its own album with more relatable tracks. And at last, “Heart: Release”, which you would expect to accent the opening track “Heart: Attack,” instead falls short of expectations. It would make more sense to me that the album ends on the tenth track, “Suns Irrupt”, which if you think about it—is the end of all ends.