by The Insomniac
Top Tracks: Glitchy Hive, Annie, Slumlord, Baby’s Eyes
Night School is a in its own right a debut, the product of smashing together of Alan Palomo’s two musical endeavors, Neon Indian and VEGA. Neon Indian pre-VEGA was always a quirky take on electro-pop, each release full of some hits but many misses, and it always lacked a certain edge. Focusing all of his influences into one outlet however has yielded a more fully realized sound – it’s a groove and you need to sink your teeth into it.
Think RAM-era Daft Punk meets The Avalanches at a swanky pool party turned cheesy discotheque. It’s first and foremost a dance record that carries a constant, dripping, groovy beat throughout the work; it’s the only static element among an onslaught of samples, obnoxiously funky synths, and watery percussion.
The warped funk of tracks like “Street Machine” scream a scene baked in radiant sun. It carries an auditory distortion similar to the churned images and mangled sounds of laughter experienced when you bob your head repeatedly through the surface of the pool water stealing glimpses of the commotion above.
The atmospheres evoked from each track are vibrant, each unique, and transition seamlessly throughout an album that really should be listened to from start to finish for the full effect. “Glitzy Hive” is an obvious standout, a vivid track full gleaming synthplay with an intoxicating chorus featuring a blissful whistling flute that hits some ethereal sweet spot – a massage of the mindgasm gland in between repeat shouts of “Move your body” or “She wants your body”… Not quite sure which it is and the internet doesn’t agree, so I just assume it’s the latter.
There’s lust prowling on the periphery of this music, exemplified on tracks like “Dear Scorpio Magazine” where Palomo sings of the raw intensity of eye contact with some impossible goddess carrying a hypnotic, enslaving gaze. “Man, I feel a certain way” he sings helplessly, an example of the vague descriptions we’re left with when at a loss for words to describe sudden desire. It’s the darkest of bright ecstasies; you’re caught speeding down a city street in slow motion, night enveloping the foreground, a full fledged addict running to destinations bright like neon love.