NEON INDIANERA EXTRAÑAORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 13TH 20111YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #24It’s safe to say that chillwave has expanded from a mere buzz-word to a genre in its own right since Panda Bear’s Person Pitch dizzied a thousand heads back in 2007. When Neon Indian released their debut album Psychic Chasms in 2009, it was probably the first record within these new sound definitions to legitimise chillwave by projecting its worldly ambitions and charismatic kaleidoscope of synths to the biggest audience possible. Psychic Chasms was an instant success and smacks of a new talent emerging with not only a clean slate concerning their own music, but also for the kind of would-be genre they were helping to mold. It’s a rare position to be in, and Psychic Chasms will likely remain forever young and energetic because of that. Two years on and Neon Indian had completed work on its follow-up. With considerable anticipation surrounding its release, it was almost a given that Era Extraña would make a bold departure from its predeccessor.Part of the negative reaction to chillwave came from how instantaneous it all felt; haphazard and brash, a gimmick built on a lot of hype and little substance. While that’s down to a matter of opinion, it’s probably wise to note that fresh, new genres need to adapt quickly before developing into something a little more solid. Era Extraña is a very bold leap forward in the sense that frontman Alan Palomo is honing his skills and refining those initial offerings on Psychic Chasms into something much more palpable. The glitchy electronica and woozy synth hazes of Psychic Chasms felt vibrant and fresh with little focus, unable to tread a well-worn path and instead making up the rules as it went along. If it was literally the life and soul of the party, then Era Extraña is the sound of the morning after, when the guests have slept off their hangover and spend the Sunday afternoon adjusting. A series of short interludes serve to dilute the stronger electro-pop of the record’s main body of songs. Not that Era Extraña needs it: Psychic Chasms had a certain flow that was unbeatable by being aimless in its wandering, yet Era Extraña is a much more pop-orientated record with greater focus on chorus and verse structure. Three interludes certainly aid in breaking up these great pop songs, the first of which, Heart: Attack, opens the record with a monolithic synth wall that sounds like a giant Gameboy rising out of the ground in the space of its opening four seconds. As all manner of bleeps, bloops, snaps, crackles and pops cascade down, it’s clear that Palomo is operating in familar and logically progressive territory.Obvious lead single Polish Girl follows with its breathy vocals, 8-bit synth tones and catchy loops, and it’s easily the band’s benchmark moment thus far. Heart: Decay and Heart: Release complete the trio of interludes, and as separate entities from the rest of Era Extraña they feel incredibly ambitious in tone. With a cinematic, star-gazing quality, they feel somewhat introvert yet exploratory, with the kind of momentum that keeps the record as a whole moving forward just enough to anticipate that which comes directly after. The record’s middle section explores 80s synth pop with a candor that eclipses anything on Psychic Chasms. Beginning with Fallout, Halogen (I Could Be A Shadow) and on to Future Sick, there’s an action hero soundtrack theme at work throughout these tracks that recalls scratchy VHS tape and scorching pop hits tarnished through fuzzy radio dials. It’s not exactly a new idea, and M83 arguably did it better on Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming a month later, but Palomo’s approach to the genre is conscientious enough to remain admirable throughout. The firework rocket explosions of Suns Irrupt are one of the record’s highlights as they shoot back and forth across a galloping drum beat. It’s cut from the same cloth as the gorgeous synth melodies of Deadbeat Summer or Ephemeral Artery with an elemental, almost industrious quality to it. As a result, much of Era Extraña feels abrasive and icy.This isn’t such a strange notion when we acknowledge that Palomo recorded Era Extraña in Helsinki during a harsh winter. All twelve tracks here feel influenced by their surroundings with frostbitten edges and glowing neon lights that dance high above. If there is an overriding theme here, then one of pensive isolation could be it. Palomo dabbles with a little shoegaze on tracks like The Blindside Kiss and Hex Girlfriend, which border on The Jesus And Mary Chain or My Bloody Valentine (both noted influences on Palomo during the recording process). Retreating to Finland to record a sophomore record is perhaps the most bizarre fact about Era Extraña, but it’s one that perhaps was ultimately necessary. In Spanish, the record’s title rougly translates to ‘strange era’ yet it also alludes to ‘longing’. This makes sense given the expansive, wandering feeling that lingers throughout, with repeated listens proving particularly rewarding. Somehow this record translates best through headphones on a freezing cold winter night. Maybe it’s because the cold chill to the air feels more open than a muggy summer smog, but there’s something about this record being removed from everything else around it that feels very romantic. Imagine for a second that Psychic Chasms is being played at a lively party in the middle of a city centre. At the same time, Era Extraña is being played by a lone figure standing on top of a hill at midnight as he watches the city lights twinkle in the distance. Both records exist in the same place and even cross over, yet they remain singular works in an already impressive body of work. Where Neon Indian will take their version of chillwave next is anyone’s guess, but it’ll be an outcome worth watching.

NEON INDIAN
ERA EXTRAÑA

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 13TH 2011
1YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #24


It’s safe to say that chillwave has expanded from a mere buzz-word to a genre in its own right since Panda Bear’s Person Pitch dizzied a thousand heads back in 2007. When Neon Indian released their debut album Psychic Chasms in 2009, it was probably the first record within these new sound definitions to legitimise chillwave by projecting its worldly ambitions and charismatic kaleidoscope of synths to the biggest audience possible. Psychic Chasms was an instant success and smacks of a new talent emerging with not only a clean slate concerning their own music, but also for the kind of would-be genre they were helping to mold. It’s a rare position to be in, and Psychic Chasms will likely remain forever young and energetic because of that. Two years on and Neon Indian had completed work on its follow-up. With considerable anticipation surrounding its release, it was almost a given that Era Extraña would make a bold departure from its predeccessor.


Part of the negative reaction to chillwave came from how instantaneous it all felt; haphazard and brash, a gimmick built on a lot of hype and little substance. While that’s down to a matter of opinion, it’s probably wise to note that fresh, new genres need to adapt quickly before developing into something a little more solid. Era Extraña is a very bold leap forward in the sense that frontman Alan Palomo is honing his skills and refining those initial offerings on Psychic Chasms into something much more palpable. The glitchy electronica and woozy synth hazes of Psychic Chasms felt vibrant and fresh with little focus, unable to tread a well-worn path and instead making up the rules as it went along. If it was literally the life and soul of the party, then Era Extraña is the sound of the morning after, when the guests have slept off their hangover and spend the Sunday afternoon adjusting. A series of short interludes serve to dilute the stronger electro-pop of the record’s main body of songs. Not that Era Extraña needs it: Psychic Chasms had a certain flow that was unbeatable by being aimless in its wandering, yet Era Extraña is a much more pop-orientated record with greater focus on chorus and verse structure. Three interludes certainly aid in breaking up these great pop songs, the first of which, Heart: Attack, opens the record with a monolithic synth wall that sounds like a giant Gameboy rising out of the ground in the space of its opening four seconds. As all manner of bleeps, bloops, snaps, crackles and pops cascade down, it’s clear that Palomo is operating in familar and logically progressive territory.


Obvious lead single Polish Girl follows with its breathy vocals, 8-bit synth tones and catchy loops, and it’s easily the band’s benchmark moment thus far. Heart: Decay and Heart: Release complete the trio of interludes, and as separate entities from the rest of Era Extraña they feel incredibly ambitious in tone. With a cinematic, star-gazing quality, they feel somewhat introvert yet exploratory, with the kind of momentum that keeps the record as a whole moving forward just enough to anticipate that which comes directly after. The record’s middle section explores 80s synth pop with a candor that eclipses anything on Psychic Chasms. Beginning with Fallout, Halogen (I Could Be A Shadow) and on to Future Sick, there’s an action hero soundtrack theme at work throughout these tracks that recalls scratchy VHS tape and scorching pop hits tarnished through fuzzy radio dials. It’s not exactly a new idea, and M83 arguably did it better on Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming a month later, but Palomo’s approach to the genre is conscientious enough to remain admirable throughout. The firework rocket explosions of Suns Irrupt are one of the record’s highlights as they shoot back and forth across a galloping drum beat. It’s cut from the same cloth as the gorgeous synth melodies of Deadbeat Summer or Ephemeral Artery with an elemental, almost industrious quality to it. As a result, much of Era Extraña feels abrasive and icy.


This isn’t such a strange notion when we acknowledge that Palomo recorded Era Extraña in Helsinki during a harsh winter. All twelve tracks here feel influenced by their surroundings with frostbitten edges and glowing neon lights that dance high above. If there is an overriding theme here, then one of pensive isolation could be it. Palomo dabbles with a little shoegaze on tracks like The Blindside Kiss and Hex Girlfriend, which border on The Jesus And Mary Chain or My Bloody Valentine (both noted influences on Palomo during the recording process). Retreating to Finland to record a sophomore record is perhaps the most bizarre fact about Era Extraña, but it’s one that perhaps was ultimately necessary. In Spanish, the record’s title rougly translates to ‘strange era’ yet it also alludes to ‘longing’. This makes sense given the expansive, wandering feeling that lingers throughout, with repeated listens proving particularly rewarding. Somehow this record translates best through headphones on a freezing cold winter night. Maybe it’s because the cold chill to the air feels more open than a muggy summer smog, but there’s something about this record being removed from everything else around it that feels very romantic. Imagine for a second that Psychic Chasms is being played at a lively party in the middle of a city centre. At the same time, Era Extraña is being played by a lone figure standing on top of a hill at midnight as he watches the city lights twinkle in the distance. Both records exist in the same place and even cross over, yet they remain singular works in an already impressive body of work. Where Neon Indian will take their version of chillwave next is anyone’s guess, but it’ll be an outcome worth watching.

NEON INDIANERA EXTRAÑAORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 13TH 20111YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #24It’s safe to say that chillwave has expanded from a mere buzz-word to a genre in its own right since Panda Bear’s Person Pitch dizzied a thousand heads back in 2007. When Neon Indian released their debut album Psychic Chasms in 2009, it was probably the first record within these new sound definitions to legitimise chillwave by projecting its worldly ambitions and charismatic kaleidoscope of synths to the biggest audience possible. Psychic Chasms was an instant success and smacks of a new talent emerging with not only a clean slate concerning their own music, but also for the kind of would-be genre they were helping to mold. It’s a rare position to be in, and Psychic Chasms will likely remain forever young and energetic because of that. Two years on and Neon Indian had completed work on its follow-up. With considerable anticipation surrounding its release, it was almost a given that Era Extraña would make a bold departure from its predeccessor.Part of the negative reaction to chillwave came from how instantaneous it all felt; haphazard and brash, a gimmick built on a lot of hype and little substance. While that’s down to a matter of opinion, it’s probably wise to note that fresh, new genres need to adapt quickly before developing into something a little more solid. Era Extraña is a very bold leap forward in the sense that frontman Alan Palomo is honing his skills and refining those initial offerings on Psychic Chasms into something much more palpable. The glitchy electronica and woozy synth hazes of Psychic Chasms felt vibrant and fresh with little focus, unable to tread a well-worn path and instead making up the rules as it went along. If it was literally the life and soul of the party, then Era Extraña is the sound of the morning after, when the guests have slept off their hangover and spend the Sunday afternoon adjusting. A series of short interludes serve to dilute the stronger electro-pop of the record’s main body of songs. Not that Era Extraña needs it: Psychic Chasms had a certain flow that was unbeatable by being aimless in its wandering, yet Era Extraña is a much more pop-orientated record with greater focus on chorus and verse structure. Three interludes certainly aid in breaking up these great pop songs, the first of which, Heart: Attack, opens the record with a monolithic synth wall that sounds like a giant Gameboy rising out of the ground in the space of its opening four seconds. As all manner of bleeps, bloops, snaps, crackles and pops cascade down, it’s clear that Palomo is operating in familar and logically progressive territory.Obvious lead single Polish Girl follows with its breathy vocals, 8-bit synth tones and catchy loops, and it’s easily the band’s benchmark moment thus far. Heart: Decay and Heart: Release complete the trio of interludes, and as separate entities from the rest of Era Extraña they feel incredibly ambitious in tone. With a cinematic, star-gazing quality, they feel somewhat introvert yet exploratory, with the kind of momentum that keeps the record as a whole moving forward just enough to anticipate that which comes directly after. The record’s middle section explores 80s synth pop with a candor that eclipses anything on Psychic Chasms. Beginning with Fallout, Halogen (I Could Be A Shadow) and on to Future Sick, there’s an action hero soundtrack theme at work throughout these tracks that recalls scratchy VHS tape and scorching pop hits tarnished through fuzzy radio dials. It’s not exactly a new idea, and M83 arguably did it better on Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming a month later, but Palomo’s approach to the genre is conscientious enough to remain admirable throughout. The firework rocket explosions of Suns Irrupt are one of the record’s highlights as they shoot back and forth across a galloping drum beat. It’s cut from the same cloth as the gorgeous synth melodies of Deadbeat Summer or Ephemeral Artery with an elemental, almost industrious quality to it. As a result, much of Era Extraña feels abrasive and icy.This isn’t such a strange notion when we acknowledge that Palomo recorded Era Extraña in Helsinki during a harsh winter. All twelve tracks here feel influenced by their surroundings with frostbitten edges and glowing neon lights that dance high above. If there is an overriding theme here, then one of pensive isolation could be it. Palomo dabbles with a little shoegaze on tracks like The Blindside Kiss and Hex Girlfriend, which border on The Jesus And Mary Chain or My Bloody Valentine (both noted influences on Palomo during the recording process). Retreating to Finland to record a sophomore record is perhaps the most bizarre fact about Era Extraña, but it’s one that perhaps was ultimately necessary. In Spanish, the record’s title rougly translates to ‘strange era’ yet it also alludes to ‘longing’. This makes sense given the expansive, wandering feeling that lingers throughout, with repeated listens proving particularly rewarding. Somehow this record translates best through headphones on a freezing cold winter night. Maybe it’s because the cold chill to the air feels more open than a muggy summer smog, but there’s something about this record being removed from everything else around it that feels very romantic. Imagine for a second that Psychic Chasms is being played at a lively party in the middle of a city centre. At the same time, Era Extraña is being played by a lone figure standing on top of a hill at midnight as he watches the city lights twinkle in the distance. Both records exist in the same place and even cross over, yet they remain singular works in an already impressive body of work. Where Neon Indian will take their version of chillwave next is anyone’s guess, but it’ll be an outcome worth watching.

NEON INDIAN
ERA EXTRAÑA

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 13TH 2011
1YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #24


It’s safe to say that chillwave has expanded from a mere buzz-word to a genre in its own right since Panda Bear’s Person Pitch dizzied a thousand heads back in 2007. When Neon Indian released their debut album Psychic Chasms in 2009, it was probably the first record within these new sound definitions to legitimise chillwave by projecting its worldly ambitions and charismatic kaleidoscope of synths to the biggest audience possible. Psychic Chasms was an instant success and smacks of a new talent emerging with not only a clean slate concerning their own music, but also for the kind of would-be genre they were helping to mold. It’s a rare position to be in, and Psychic Chasms will likely remain forever young and energetic because of that. Two years on and Neon Indian had completed work on its follow-up. With considerable anticipation surrounding its release, it was almost a given that Era Extraña would make a bold departure from its predeccessor.


Part of the negative reaction to chillwave came from how instantaneous it all felt; haphazard and brash, a gimmick built on a lot of hype and little substance. While that’s down to a matter of opinion, it’s probably wise to note that fresh, new genres need to adapt quickly before developing into something a little more solid. Era Extraña is a very bold leap forward in the sense that frontman Alan Palomo is honing his skills and refining those initial offerings on Psychic Chasms into something much more palpable. The glitchy electronica and woozy synth hazes of Psychic Chasms felt vibrant and fresh with little focus, unable to tread a well-worn path and instead making up the rules as it went along. If it was literally the life and soul of the party, then Era Extraña is the sound of the morning after, when the guests have slept off their hangover and spend the Sunday afternoon adjusting. A series of short interludes serve to dilute the stronger electro-pop of the record’s main body of songs. Not that Era Extraña needs it: Psychic Chasms had a certain flow that was unbeatable by being aimless in its wandering, yet Era Extraña is a much more pop-orientated record with greater focus on chorus and verse structure. Three interludes certainly aid in breaking up these great pop songs, the first of which, Heart: Attack, opens the record with a monolithic synth wall that sounds like a giant Gameboy rising out of the ground in the space of its opening four seconds. As all manner of bleeps, bloops, snaps, crackles and pops cascade down, it’s clear that Palomo is operating in familar and logically progressive territory.


Obvious lead single Polish Girl follows with its breathy vocals, 8-bit synth tones and catchy loops, and it’s easily the band’s benchmark moment thus far. Heart: Decay and Heart: Release complete the trio of interludes, and as separate entities from the rest of Era Extraña they feel incredibly ambitious in tone. With a cinematic, star-gazing quality, they feel somewhat introvert yet exploratory, with the kind of momentum that keeps the record as a whole moving forward just enough to anticipate that which comes directly after. The record’s middle section explores 80s synth pop with a candor that eclipses anything on Psychic Chasms. Beginning with Fallout, Halogen (I Could Be A Shadow) and on to Future Sick, there’s an action hero soundtrack theme at work throughout these tracks that recalls scratchy VHS tape and scorching pop hits tarnished through fuzzy radio dials. It’s not exactly a new idea, and M83 arguably did it better on Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming a month later, but Palomo’s approach to the genre is conscientious enough to remain admirable throughout. The firework rocket explosions of Suns Irrupt are one of the record’s highlights as they shoot back and forth across a galloping drum beat. It’s cut from the same cloth as the gorgeous synth melodies of Deadbeat Summer or Ephemeral Artery with an elemental, almost industrious quality to it. As a result, much of Era Extraña feels abrasive and icy.


This isn’t such a strange notion when we acknowledge that Palomo recorded Era Extraña in Helsinki during a harsh winter. All twelve tracks here feel influenced by their surroundings with frostbitten edges and glowing neon lights that dance high above. If there is an overriding theme here, then one of pensive isolation could be it. Palomo dabbles with a little shoegaze on tracks like The Blindside Kiss and Hex Girlfriend, which border on The Jesus And Mary Chain or My Bloody Valentine (both noted influences on Palomo during the recording process). Retreating to Finland to record a sophomore record is perhaps the most bizarre fact about Era Extraña, but it’s one that perhaps was ultimately necessary. In Spanish, the record’s title rougly translates to ‘strange era’ yet it also alludes to ‘longing’. This makes sense given the expansive, wandering feeling that lingers throughout, with repeated listens proving particularly rewarding. Somehow this record translates best through headphones on a freezing cold winter night. Maybe it’s because the cold chill to the air feels more open than a muggy summer smog, but there’s something about this record being removed from everything else around it that feels very romantic. Imagine for a second that Psychic Chasms is being played at a lively party in the middle of a city centre. At the same time, Era Extraña is being played by a lone figure standing on top of a hill at midnight as he watches the city lights twinkle in the distance. Both records exist in the same place and even cross over, yet they remain singular works in an already impressive body of work. Where Neon Indian will take their version of chillwave next is anyone’s guess, but it’ll be an outcome worth watching.

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1YRON aims to shine the spotlight on albums exactly one year after their release. Presented as an alternative to writing about them instantaneously, I hope to recall the album in question with a fondness of time having passed. Perhaps you may even be inspired to go back and discover something new.

Since physical and digital release dates often vary worldwide (the US commonly a day after the UK for example, or for smaller releases, sometimes weeks or months apart), these reviews will only be published on their UK or US physical release date (whichever comes first).

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