15 Aug Neon Indian – ‘Slumlord’

I’m always skeptical when I see new music releases from artists who emerged during the chill-wave period such as Washed Out, Toro Y Moi, Blackbird Blackbird, Brothertiger, Slow Magic, Memory Tapes, Work Drugs, MillionYoung, Chad Valley. All except Neon Indian. Despite releasing the most memorable and definable chill-wave album with his debut album Psychic Chasms, Alan Palomo has always been the purest song-writer to emerge from chill-wave.

It became more noticeable on his second album Era Extraña where he became less reliant on style or music trends and he just wrote songs that would work if re-recorded in many different styles. He’s a song-writer who happen to emerge during chill-wave, not a musician who emerged because of chill-wave. Now he’s set to release his third album Vega Intl. Night School on October 16th and the first two singles ‘Annie‘ and now ‘Slumlord‘ are the least chill-wave music he’s made to date and the most expansive instrumentally.

‘Slumlord’ opens with a dark synthesiser reminescent of Perturbator before transitioning into a dance floor groove, full of bouncy hooks and slick guitar work. His vocals are also more demanding than usual, while not sounding forceful or uncharacteristic. The chorus vocal hook sounds like a more carefully crafted Chromeo moment, but it’s not all about the vocals, there’s just so many small details all over this track that work well together. The songs appears set to break out towards the end, except then it suddenly ends. This may be because the next track on the album is titled ‘Slumlord’s Re-Lease‘, hinting that this track may indeed break out then instead, but we’ll have to wait two more months to find out.

Marcus Rimondini

Managing Editor & Music Editor - Follow on Twitter