ERA EXTRAÑA: NEON INDIAN Sunday 23 October, 2011

It would appear that practice does indeed make perfect judging by Neon Indian’s second album. It’s a bit good.

I enjoyed Neon Indian’s first album (Psychic Chasms). I didn’t love it though. Something was missing. Maybe there was too much of something. Perhaps there was just the right amount of something but it was in the wrong place. Whatever the reason it didn’t manage to carve it’s own little room within my heart. It had to resign itself to a stay in the guest rooms. That’s not to say it wasn’t charming. Coming off like a mid 80’s mix tape that was recorded under water, left in the sun, chewed up by an ALBA personal cassette player and re-spooled with the aid of a biro. Which is, clearly, pretty much what we are all looking for.

I was not expecting great things from this new album, Era Extraña. So I’m pleased to say that my lack of expectation was entirely misplaced. If I failed to identify what it was that was wrong with the first album it would appear the Mr. Indian has totally nailed it because this album is wonderful.

If you’re not into the whole eighties revival thing then you might want to jog on right now. This album is very much the way the music of the eighties sounds when filtered through my nostalgia. By which I mean it sounds awesome as opposed to actual eighties music which is (despite what your memory tells you) mainly shit.  This is the music that makes the world seem cool when you travel around it’s grubby little avenues. This is dreamlike but in a wibbly synth way. You know what I mean! Those wibbly synth dreams that we all have. No? Er. Well that’s what it sounds like to me anyway.

I recently saw the movie Drive  which has a fab eighties style soundtrack and I remember thinking “yeah, but it only sounds cool with the film”.  Well this album feels like that kind of music but just as cool without the film. In fact I’d probably say this music is much cooler.

Aside from being a dip into memories of the eighties you’ll find a dash of My Bloody Valentine, a sprig of Boards of Canada and a couple of heaped teaspoonfuls of the coolest shit you’ve heard in a long time. I challenge you to listen to Heart: Release on your iPod while you wander around without feeling like your having a better time than everybody else who’s stuck on the Victoria Line…er…that’s just me again, isn’t it? Well, it’s a challenge anyway.

I wouldn’t ordinarily advise filling an Indian with a noble gas (atomic weight 10) but if it’s going to sound that good I might go and find a canister of it for myself right now. For the more conventional among us you should probably just buy this album.

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