Today I continue a series of posts dedicated to the best albums of the last decade, posting analysis of one album at a time.
42. Neon Indian – Psychic Chasms
The summer of 2009 was fairly lazy and optimistic for me – Obama had just been elected, and music was particularly awesome. I had a part time job driving around a bingo parlor lot as a “security guard” listening to satellite radio. And that’s where I first heard “Deadbeat Summer,” the theme song to my life at that point. I then saw Neon Indian at Monolith, ACL, and Fun Fun Fun Fest, where the show morphed from a mere electronic experiment to a full-blown chillwave dance powerhouse on stage.
The chillwave movement of 2009 was extraordinary in its remarkable presence and almost similarly immediate dissolving – the subgenre is basically dead at this point, or at least in limbo, as prominent chillwavers are trying new sounds other than the spaced-out, 80′s influenced, electro dance music that captivated us a couple of years ago. Still, Psychic Chasms, my favorite album of that year, is a trippy, upbeat half hour of drug-induced Miami Vice fun.
Alan Palomo’s post-Ghosthustler project turned him into a blog-world superstar almost overnight, as leaked tracks were consistently lauded for their unique mix of sampling (some of which are familial – his father’s compositions, popular in the 1970′s in Mexico), muddy lo-fi production, and infectious melody, even more so than his dream-house effort Vega, which he all but abandoned once Neon Indian took off. Psychic Chasms is a perfect introduction; either you get it or you don’t, either you’re dancing or you’re scratching your head. Of course, with toe-tapping songs like “Terminally Chill” and “Should Have Taken Acid With You,” I don’t see how anyone could resist.