Chill Wave Deconstructed with Neon Indian [Exclusive]

Fresh from his first show in three years in Mexico City, Neon Indian (aka Alan Palomo) came straight to FYF for a sunny Sunday afternoon performance on the main stage. One of the chief architects of the genre often dubbed ‘chill-wave,’ Palomo stands apart from the rest of his peers in the sheer psychedelic glee that permeates his work. His new shows are being met with anticipation after the recent announcement of his third LP, the deliriously titled VEGA Intl. Night School.

We caught up with Palomo after his electrifying set to chat about film, his favorite guilty pleasures, and what he did instead of taking acid with an ex-girlfriend.

What’s been your most memorable gig?

Being on MDMA, playing Primavera at 3:30 in the morning back in 2012. I mean worthy by default—that’s a pretty loaded sentence. There was a lot of moving parts to that show and it was pretty fun.

What were you doing that one time instead of taking acid with your ex?

I just flaked! I was mixing someone’s record. I was supposed to come down during the holiday break, and I had this opportunity at the time– as a broke college student with somebody willing to give me a little bit of money to mix an album… I really needed to pay rent the next couple months so I just took that opportunity. And of course I was feeling so bad about it, so that’s why the song was written. I wanted to write her some kind of apology.

What would you be doing if you weren’t making music right now?

Filmmaking. Totally. It’s what I studied. And what I wanted to do since I was 10 or 11. And you know, one day I can hopefully integrate the two of those.

What have been some of the most influential films you’ve seen?

I really love Ratcatcher, which is a Lynn Ramsey movie, Masculin Féminin, Army of Shadows—that’s an awesome movie. And I really like new stuff, I really love Antonio Campos, that movie Afterschool and Simon Killer… Lynn Ramsey keeps making stuff. Post Tenebras Lux, a Mexican film, was really fantastic, and Holy Motors, who I think is Leos Carax.

What’s your guilty pleasure song?

New Radicals – “You Only Get What you give” which is arguably the best song of the 90s. I have no guilty songs, if it’s great music, it’s great music.

What was the inspiration behind your new album cover?

I always had this kind of concept in mind with a neon sign and that sort of brick pattern on the wall, and I started doing a couple single covers with Robert who did the single covers for Annie and Slumlord and it was all really amazing stuff. We wanted to figure out a way where we could incorporate an actual piece of photography, and not only integrate his conceptual talents but also find some way to make it seem like it’s a little lost in time. Obviously the photograph is anachronistic; it’s like an old CRT monitor or an old keyboard. The cover was photographed by a good friend of mine, Luke Lanter, the idea was to make It seem like a sort of lost singles collection from a band you’ve never heard of. Which is partly why it intentionally genre hops a little bit.

How do you describe the genre of music you produce under Neon Indian?

Why don’t you just say, ‘go!’ and I’ll give you a made up genre name that could be used to describe my music:


Slop bucket funk.


Couch wave.


Sleepytime Nyquil core.


Capsized Yacht Rock.


My favorite kind of music, yay! Haha.

Neon Indian photographed exclusively for Milk  by Koury Angelo

Related Stories

New Stories

Load More


Like Us On Facebook