words by Natalia Morawski

Alan Palomo, the brain behind Neon Indian has released his third record, VEGA INTL. Night School, and it’s just as eclectic and dynamic as you might expect.

Aptly named too, Palomo takes you on a strange, underground journey to teach what night life is really about, and while a theme like that might ensue some dark and kooky tracks, Palomo has employed enough Balearic tropical rhythms, 80s synth lines and floating vocals to make all the tracks incredibly inviting and intoxicating.

The disembodied samples, warping and wobbly synths make for a fun and charismatic album. Palomo has taken advantage of high production values, and they don’t go to waste. Palomo is in command of every track on this album, the tracks drip and ooze a sort of gooey, psychedelic liquid, but while other artists might drown tracks out with too much of well – everything, Palomo is in total control.

It’s a sexy, everything-is-better-after-dark album, whether Palomo is yearning for a femme fatale like girl on the reggae groove track ‘Annie’, “Annie, don’t run away / Where I can’t find you / The game has gone too far”, or taking the techno up a few notches to make you “just feel the night” on ‘Techno Clique’, it’s Palomo at his best. And maybe that’s something to do with combining his two ego’s, Neon Indian and his more electronic side, VEGA.

VEGA INTL. Night School might centre around an ‘educational’ and exhilarating nightlife, but it’s a youthful, untainted kind of cavorting; pure fun, and that’s inherent in the album – in it’s bubbly, pop filled rhythms.

And of course there’s Palomo’s sense of humour that gives depth to this and all of his previous albums; the sci-fi synths and random spectrum of samples give the album character and a wholeness tribute to funk – damn good music that’s as enjoyable as it is technically impressive. ‘Slumlord’, is one of the most notable and memorable tracks on the album, it’s infectious and a wonderful whirlwind of vintage, groovy melodies.

VEGA INTL. Night School is an ambitious and generous album. It’s reminiscent of what pop was; you can hear influences from Prince, Blondie and the likes, but it’s undeniably unique to Palomo. It might be called night school, but it’s an education of the past, the present and the future.

Rating: ★★★★☆

VEGA INTL. Night School is available now from iTunes

Neon Indian is hitting the road across most parts of the USA this month before making his way down to Australia for a limited number of shows – check out all of those details on his tour page

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