Review: Neon Indian-‘VEGA INTL. Night School’

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Sweaty, deep-house digressions, blurry disco lights, and a lo-fi, synthpop kind of tipsy: it’s the sensory overload that Alan Palomo and the rest of Neon Indian chains to you. Though in somewhat subtle of means and small of doses, they’ve actually been administering this since 2009.

VEGA INTL. Night School arrives two years after the band’s last studio album, and soon after hit single “Annie”s rule over Spring 2015: a “La Isla Bonita”-fied electro pop cut, smothered with tropical vibes, fidgety keyboards, and lead singer Palomo’s falsetto rapture. It’s VEGA INTL.’s second-track transport to the islands, right between the album’s hypnotic, 1:00 overture, “Hit Parade”, and “Street Level”s cut-and-paste, dubsteppy clutter.

See, VEGA INTL. flows much like an raveish, underground dancefloor marathon, operating melodically with as much cohesion as confusion. [A paradox not typically pulled off by most in EDM]. Sometimes, wild and brash 808s circle vintage, 80s-cassette beats; other times, it’s all clattering synths and keyboards on parade. It’s a kaleidoscopic, 14-track-deep daze—but uniquely, not a doze.

There’s some sonic organization, then a little lack of it; both approaches generate in-ear addiction. The recipe for “Smut!” and “Bozo” is mismatched geometrics, lo-fi embellishments, and far-off, distant vocals, while fluid, ultra-smooth tracks like “Glitzy Hive” and “61 Cygni Ave” join any loose rhythmic ends.

For all of his blithe, unconcerned disco slavery, Paloma’s moments of clarity are as lucid as strobe-lit love interest can be, and as blunt….[“I don’t know what you see in those creeps, You know you never leave the glitzy hive”]. And unblushingly lovey…[“Never coming home again, till they see the world as I see you.”] In all forms of delivery, via woozy murmurs or amped-up confessions, VEGA INTL.’s range of emotions feels genuine.

Listen below & buy it here.

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