An Indie Rock Moment: Neon Indian

By: Brad Horenstein (

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During the summer of 2009, a super unique electro dance song started making its way around computer speakers, receiving a strong initial push by indie music behemoth Pitchfork. Fueled by an undeniably infectious synth groove, lazy digi beats and vocals with more hooks on ‘em than a commercial fishing boat, Deadbeat Summer became the song of Summer 2009, and it happened in what seemed like an instant. And with that booming introduction, NEON INDIAN sparked last year’s most significant intrigue: who was this kid in the electric blue baseball jacket hiding his face behind what looked like a micro korg synthesizer? All the cool kids would soon find out that this out-of-nowhere pop genius was Alan Palomo of Austin, Texas; the brainchild behind NEON INDIAN (formerly of GHOSTHUSLTER and VEGA). 

NEON INDIAN’s intrigue only started with that gigantic single, but as people soon started to realize, Palomo didn’t just release Deadbeat Summer and then subsequently blow up; NEON INDIAN had been making a push for a little while before the internet took real notice of that one song. As new fans began to scour the internet for more material, they discovered tracks like the 80s drenched, electro crier 6669 (I don’t know if you know) and the project’s first production, the trippy, laser infused Should Have Taken Acid with You. What was at first intrigue quickly became obsession, and before anyone had time to realize what was happening, NEON INDIAN released the 2009 album of the year: Psychic Chasms. Every song on the debut release was for real and you couldn’t find any other dance records that came close to rivaling the consistent, super catchy 30-minutes offered on Psychic Chasms.


Since dropping his debut album On Far Too Few Ears, NEON INDIAN still hasn’t experienced the level of exposure that he deserves, but serious buzz is sure to envelop the act in the coming months. Palomo’s twitter account has been blowing up, and even teeny bop sensations Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas have since tweeted about NEON INDIAN. The quality of the music is undeniable, and as more and more people become exposed, Palomo’s project will begin to shine even brighter than its name suggests. Just look at Palomo’s first material since recording 2009’s Psychic Chasms, the crisp 2010 synth pop track Sleep Paralysist


Sleep Paralysist is distinctly NEON INDIAN, but it’s much more polished than the laser haze that was Psychic Chasms. On Sleep Paralysist, Palomo relishes in the hi-fi. And it is not at all irrelevant that Chris Taylor from indie rock Gods GRIZZLY BEAR co-produced the track. In under a year, Alan Palomo went from a kid with a synthesizer and a dream to a true pop trailblazer. He’s now got friends in such high places that he’s co-producing Sleep Paralysist under his own moniker with a dude who’s already pulled over 10,000 to a free concert in Williamsburg last summer; a crowd that included Jay Z, Beyonce and NY Senator Chuck Schumer. Palomo recently moved his act from Texas to Brooklyn, so make sure you catch a show. You can check NEON INDIAN opening for MASSIVE ATTACK at Terminal 5 on May 12, or if you can’t swing the $52 for that show you can catch him in Brooklyn at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on June 17 ($20).

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