Neon Indian is an American electronic music band from Denton, Texas. The music is composed by Mexican-born Alan Palomo (born July 24, 1988), who is also known for his work with the band Ghosthustler, and as the solo artist VEGA. The band's debut studio album, Psychic Chasms, was released in October 2009 to favorable reviews. Rolling Stone named Neon Indian one of the best new bands of 2010. Their second studio album, Era Extraña, was released in September 2011.
Palomo was born in Monterrey, Mexico, and later moved to San Antonio, Texas at the age of five, relocating to Denton, Texas for college at the University of North Texas. As he grew through much of his high school years, he had already been writing and performing music before the inception of Neon Indian, in his projects Ghosthustler and VEGA. Shortly before the release of Psychic Chasms, Palomo said he planned on releasing another album as VEGA, although this has not yet happened, and it is unclear if it ever will. In an interview, Palomo cites his father as a musical influence, "just because that's how he makes his living—he had a brief stint in the late 70s and early 80s as a Mexican pop star." Palomo also shared that he sampled some of his father's material in his work with Neon Indian.
The name Neon Indian was conceived by an ex-girlfriend of Palomo's, Alicia Scardetta, who was also the subject of their song "Should Have Taken Acid with You". The song was originally presented as a musical apology for a missed acid date. Her positive reaction to the song spurred Palomo to continue writing more songs as Neon Indian.
Neon Indian's debut album, Psychic Chasms, released on October 13, 2009 by Lefse Records. The album was designated Best New Music by Pitchfork Media, and Spin magazine praised it as a "dreamy collage of samples and synth tones". Pitchfork Media named Psychic Chasms the fourteenth best album of 2009, while including the songs "Deadbeat Summer" and "Should Have Taken Acid with You" at numbers thirteen and seventy-four, respectively, on its list of The Top 100 Tracks of 2009.
Psychic Chasms was re-released in September 2010, including a set of bonus remixes titled Mind Ctrl: Psychic Chasms Possessed. In the United Kingdom, the reissue also contains "Sleep Paralysist" as a bonus track.
Recorded in Helsinki, Finland during the winter of 2010, Neon Indian's second studio album, Era Extraña (a Spanish-language title, literally "Strange Era" or "She Was Strange" or "She Was a Stranger", depending on the context), was released September 13, 2011 on Palomo's Static Tongues imprint. Soon after the album's release, the band embarked on a North American tour, featuring Purity Ring and Com Truise as opening acts.
A short video filmed in Helsinki was released on April 20, 2011, featuring an excerpt from the track "Heart: Attack", the first of a three-part instrumental piece that appears on the album. It was followed by "Heart: Decay" and "Heart: Release".
On September 4, 2011, the album was made available to stream in full on NPR's First Listen for a limited time.
The extended play Errata Anex was released on April 9, 2013, containing remixes of five tracks from Era Extraña by Optimo, Boyd Rice, Patten, Actress, and Twin Shadow. "These remixes are a small collection found along the way of my year on the road while we were touring Era Extraña. The artists were chosen by whatever most consistently blared out of my headphones", Palomo said of the EP.
Neon Indian contributed the song "Change of Coast" exclusively to the soundtrack to the video game Grand Theft Auto V, released on September 24, 2013.
When performing, Palomo is joined on stage by a live band, consisting of Jason Faries (drums), Leanne Macomber (keyboard, vocals) and Lars Larsen (live visuals). Ronald Gierhart played guitar and sang in the live group prior to 2011, leaving to finish college and begin a solo project called Ronnie Heart.
On February 11, 2010, Neon Indian made their live television debut on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, performing a medley of the songs "Terminally Chill" and "Ephemeral Artery".
Neon Indian has played several prominent independent music festivals, including Moogfest, North Coast Music Festival South by Southwest, Bonnaroo Music Festival, Pitchfork Music Festival, Sasquatch! Music Festival, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, MtyMx All Ages Festival of Art and Music, Monolith Festival, Virgin Mobile Festival, Austin City Limits Festival, Free Press Summer Fest, Emmabodafestivalen, Incubate, Bestival, and Camp Bisco. Neon Indian has toured with Phoenix, Prefuse 73, Miniature Tigers, Massive Attack, Chromeo, Sleigh Bells, Real Estate, and Wild Nothing.