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All Shook Down: Neon Indian 

This chillwave juggernaut has more facets than the blog buzz might suggest.

Wednesday, Jul 21 2010

It began with a grooving, hazy track called "Deadbeat Summer," and there's no telling where it may end. Texas artist Alan Palomo's outfit, Neon Indian, is the chief of chillwave, an upstart subgenre that fuses lazer-y synth lines, trebly beats, and the chirpy blips of '80s pop with guitar flavors and lo-fi production straight out of indie rock. The combination leads to an '80s baby's dream: plasticky vibes that recall Reagan-era radio, but rendered with the grit of early-'90s alt-rock. The band's live show also blends the gyration-inspiration of dance music with bored-out riffage and live drums. For Palomo, though, the dusty, critically acclaimed sounds on Neon Indian's debut album, Psychic Chasms, were more a result of having only a bedroom's worth of equipment to record with than a conscious decision. A sleeker, new track, "Sleep Paralysist," shows what Palomo can do with a studio, and so will his next album, which the 22-year-old hopes to record later this year. For now, he is riding the chillwave, touring the world (including big festivals like Bonnaroo), and proving just how hard beat music can rock.

All Shook Down Music Festival

Janelle Monae

A cross-section of the festival schedule

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Ian S. Port


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