Story+ Photographs / Ericka Clevenger
NEON INDIAN aka Alan Palomo, formally Ghosthustler and VEGA, performed a killer show last friday at the Troubador in West Hollywood California. The 23 year old from Denton Texas, has become the poster child for psychedelic chill-wave, after not one, but two amazing albums released in the past two years. His first album Psychic Chasm, was released in October of 2009, and put Palomo on the radar with its bright, whimsical punchy 80’s era distorted lo-fi electronica sounds. This album jumped all over the place, impressing the masses with his ability to compose majestic nostalgia,manipulated sounds, and punchy dance beats to explore deeper into the realm of abstract psychedelic sounds.
Your twenties are full of heartache and unresolved internal anguish, which you here layered inside the bright tones of the album.
Both “Dead Beat Summer” and “I Should have taken Acid with you” are letters to lost lovers that we overlook in the chaos of our youth. I could have loved you if the sky was not so beautiful, and all that stuff. This is life, expressed in a psychedelic dance portal created in your bedroom. Era Extrana, Palomo’s new album, is a lot more dark, like a relatable soundtrack to the end of the world–or at least a day spent hung over. But overall the album is a collaboration with yet again something to match the pure intense emotion of the hopeless romantics youth. “Polish Girl” definitely stands out on this album, almost completely separated from the rest. Bouncy, danceable happy track, that causes you to jump up and down without thought. (I should know–I had about five blisters from my heels after the show). Also on this album- “Heart: Attack”, “Heart: Decay”, “Heart: Release, a triply instrumental trio, that adds dark layers and depth to his normal bright synth-pop songs. Pulsing and burbling guitar wails dipped deep into computer, and video game sounds stretched and wrapped around dark, reverberating vocals.
Whatever fancy name you want to describe Neon Indian’s truly emotion matched songs, is fine. But plain and simple, its just a great album, full of electrifying songs. The show opened with two great shows by, Purity Ring and Com Truise, and followed by Neon Indian. The second they came on stage, the entire West Hollywood bar was all eyes and ears on Palomo. It was like a mop of wild animals, jumping up and down, arms raised, loud hoots- as the 4 piece band opened with Terminally Chill. Each individual musician was deep in trance with their instrument, completely captivated by the sounds and emotion that was pulsing through their bodies and spat out into the crowd. This was not a normal Los Angeles show, where you quietly stand with your arms crossed watching your so called “favorite band”. Everyone there seemed to be deeply involved in the music and the experience, singing along, and dancing with as much passion as Palomo himself. Smooth casanova of the psych world, with moves that matched the other members, who jumped up and down as they were playing. Weather they were friends from Denton, or LA locals, everyone seemed to respect the environment, and be completely into the music.
Palomo stopped to thank everyone for coming out. “This is so much fun. We do this because of you”. He then proceeded to tell a story of the first time they played in Los Angeles. They were almost late, and arrived with a mere 5 minutes to spare at the Echo, because their manager at the time was “Tripping”. Apparently in Canada, he had eaten an entire bag of mushrooms and disappeared for a few hours. Needless to say they made up for it with the show, and the last twos albums, but thanks anyway! The crowd really seemed to enjoy the story, and the openness that was allowed by Palomo between him and his fans.
Overall a great dance party musical experience, in the always lovely Troubador. Thank you for being you, Neon Indian.