Words by Lauren Gill

We’ve all been there. Woken up from a big night with a nagging headache and faint recollections of a chaotic evening littered with bottom shelf tequila. Three years ago, Alan Palomo (aka Neon Indian), found himself in a similar situation. Opening his eyes after a heavy post-tour celebration, he found himself alone on the front step of his New York City apartment. No longer beside him was his laptop, which contained all of his work from the past two years.

After the blow, Palomo took time off from producing, returning to film and slowly piecing together new material. Eventually, he recorded an album aboard a cruise ship on which his brother was working. The resulting LP is a dancefloor-ready collection of Belaeric beats, spacey synths and island-influenced tracks. At its best, the album flaunts the Texan-born producer’s penchant for dubbed out dance tracks while also staying true to his chillwave glory days.

Vega Intl. Nigh School gets underway with “Hit Parade”, a lightning-fast blip of twinkly synths before transitioning into the LP’s lead single, “Annie”. Mellow, reggae infused beats keep time as Palomo lustfully tries to get in touch with the mysterious damsel, only to be faced with her damn answering machine. It’s the kind of track that elicits head bobbing and frozen cocktail drinking, but in the best sort of way.

Perhaps best known for his breakthrough song, “Should Have Taken Acid With You”, the album never strays too far from Palomo’s roots. Eventually, the tropics take a backseat and his affection for trippy synth work shines on tracks like “Techno Clique” and “C’est Le Vie”. The latter is a chugging melodic powerhouse that transports the listener to a galactic gig worthy of Ziggy Stardust.

Lyrically speaking, Vega Intl. Night School is best described as charming -that is when you can make out what he’s saying over the thick instrumentation. Palomo has never pretended to be the voice of our generation, but still manages to throw in glossy wordplay like, “Chintzy as a neon sign/But you still threw me the powerline,” which he sings on the dreamily sleazy, “Smut!”

But it’s not all missed connections and smize-worthy pickup lines on Vegas Intl. Night School. “The Glitzy Hive” is a festival-ready track with a call to arms to “Move your body,” as dizzy synths recline in the background.

And moving is exactly what listeners of Vega Intl. Night School will feel compelled to do. Dance music is in its prime and Palmono capitalizes on it, mixing his own brand of chillwave with after-hours beats. A few years ago, he may have suffered the consequences of a big night, but it’s safe to say he’s probably now thanking whoever had those sticky hands.

Neon Indian
‘Vega Intl Night School’
Mom & Pop Records
© October 16th, 2015



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