Words by Jack Williams
If you are looking for a well dressed and just a generally cool synth player, look no further than Alan Palomo, better known as Neon Indian.
Neon Indian’s synthpop style of music is a genre that hasn’t seen much action since the introduction in the 1980’s. Chvrches and MGMT are just only a handful that have been successful with their attempts of synth-pop and have been noticed by the mass audience. Neon Indian is close from getting to that stage, 416,000 streams monthly on Spotify and with his smash-hit Polish Girl having just under an incredible 25 million streams, its safe to say he’s no stranger.
Where it all began…
2009 was the start of Neon Indian’s journey as he initially released the single Terminally Chill shortly followed by his debut album Psychic Chasms. Psychic Chasms laid down the foundations for that common electronic beat that soon many would become familiar with.
Laughing Gas, Terminally Chill and Should Have Taken Acid With You produced Neon Indian with his initial and at the time fairly small fan base. The relatively unheard success of Psychic Chasms meant that album No.2 needed something special, it had just that.
Era Extraña wasn’t exactly an eye-catching album, but one song was all it needed, Polish Girl. This song finally exploited what Neon Indian was all about, jazzy beat, flawless vocals, and the perfect song to get noticed, still arguably his most popular song to date.
This really drew the crowd in and soon had an established following in the U.S, playing shows on a regularly basis, most of them selling out. The rest of the Era Extraña album was one with a lot more popularity than Psychic Chasms; it even peaked to No.4 in the US Dance Charts.
Palomo than took a somewhat lengthy gap after releasing two albums in two years, but in December 2014, he announced via Instagram that he was hard at work producing his next album, which was subsequently released October the following year.
VEGA INTL. NIGHT SCHOOL, better known, as Night School was the third and current album to be released from Neon Indian.
Night School is like taking you back to the sounds of the 1980’s with sounds from songs such as Annie, Slumlord and 61 Cygni Ave. It really gives you a true feel of modernized synth.
His popularity in the US is strong, but across the pond in the UK it’s far from that. 2010 was the only time he’d visited the UK, playing at venues such as Rough Trade (London), Cargo (London), Start The Bus (Bristol) and Bestival Festival.
In 2016 he announced a one off show at Oval Space in East London, and my word it was a gig to remember. Playing the majority of his new album, Palomo also played fan-favorite Polish Girl along with a handful of songs from his debut album.
He also covered songs by AC/DC and Prince which was a sight to behold, pure brilliance.
Synth isn’t a genre of music that appeals to many, but trust me on this one, give him a listen.
This piece was written by Jack Williams, follow him on twitter here.