Wednesday, March 10, 2010
track review: neon indian - sleep paralysist
This new Neon Indian track was released today via "Green Label Sound", some kind Mountain Dew cross-marketing bullshit music label. In addition to being released in conjunction with the marketing arm of a soft drink corporation, the song is conspicuously hi-fidelity. One of the things that always struck me about the rush of music websites to christen the terms "glo-fi" or "chillwave" or what-have-you is that there was never anything (geography, touring, labels) that connected the various groups that got saddled with these labels; rather it was just an attempt to lump somewhat-similar-sounding yet otherwise unrelated acts together. The problem I had with that is that there really wasn't any indication that the second albums from these bands would be in the same vein, making the creation of these new genre labels kind of premature. And sure enough, why call this new Neon Indian track "glo-fi" when it actually has high production values? Personally the lo-fi nature of Psychic Chasms played a large part in what I liked about it, but I came away from seeing Neon Indian at the Echoplex with the impression that they really were ambitious and interested in bigger and better things. So, I'm not surprised that Sleep Paralysist is slick and soda-affiliated: its basically what I expected from this guy. However, that doesn't mean that I'm not still kind of disappointed. Apart from the Terry Riley-esque keyboard squiggles that open and close the song, there's nothing about this that is particularly interesting to me. I think free of the haze and murk that the lo-fi production of Psychic Chasms provided, the heavy-synth pop sound is too garish and clubby. It wouldn't matter that much if the song was good, but again there's not much memorable about it. One of the guys from Grizzly Bear co-wrote this, but you'd never know just from listening. It's not a terrible misstep by any sense, but it doesn't really raise my expections for Neon Indian's next album, either.