Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday, we deliver songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Sleep Paralysist” by Neon Indian from the 2010 single on Green Label Sound.
For a guy in his early 20’s, Alan Palomo comes to his current project Neon Indian with a surprising amount of experience. Already, he’s made waves on the blogosphere as one third of Denton’s defunct electro-synth group Ghosthustler and with his other current solo project, VEGA. Both groups are perfect mimics of music from a decade or more before his time, yet Palomo manages to always keep it fresh. Ghosthustler had just enough punk edge to give it bite, and VEGA, a bumpin’ groove to keep its smoother disco jams from seeming dated. Neon Indian, though, breaks through the blissed-out veneer of VEGA’s spacey Euro synth to tap into the more immediate and sometimes unpleasant emotions Palomo was experiencing at the time — happiness, anger, alienation, rejection, and romantic dissolution — with his relationships and his move to Austin.
Throughout it all, though, Palomo never loses step with the Members Only-wearing crowd, keeping a lively synth beat pumping across his admittedly depressing lyrics, and perhaps its that contrast that has appealed to critics and fans, who found the lo-fi electronics of 2009’s Psychic Chasms (think first gen Nintendo Game Boy meets the Risky Business soundtrack) actually refreshing. In fact, “Terminally Chill” worked its way into Late Night host Jimmy Fallon’s subconscious (thanks to hearing it on KEXP first!), and he brought in Neon Indian for their late night TV debut. (Check out the video below!) Today’s Song of the Day, “Sleep Paralysist,” was actually written after the release of Psychic Chasms and finds Palomo eschewing the lo-fi bits for a more pristine production, resulting in perhaps his most alluring song to date. The future looks bright for Palomo.
And while the hype factor continues to grow with each of Palomo’s new projects, Neon Indian is about to get a huge boost as they’re performing with Sleigh Bells tonight in Manchester… BAM! Instant karma, baby! Northwesters can check them out at the Gorge on Memorial Day during Sasquatch. To find more dates this summer, head over to their MySpace page and hope they’re playing a town near you.
Here’s their performance of “Terminally Chill” and “Ephemeral Artery” on Fallon: