Neon Indian Era Extraña

Neon Indian Era Extraña
If being chillwave necessitates being chill, you might just say Neon Indian's Alan Palomo has made his exit from the genre. That doesn't mean the 21-year-old has abandoned his sound ― hazy electronics abound on his sophomore album ― but where Psychic Chasms playfully skittered about, Era Extraña broods a little more, lurking in shadows of sharp gain and static-laden reverb. There are lighter moments, such as the bouncing "Polish Girl" and the sunny chorus of highlight "Hex Girlfriend," but even these tracks are punctuated by minor-key intros and bursts of noise. Elsewhere, the thumping "Future Sick" and rolling, ominous title track indicate that Palomo's been in touch with his dark side, and good for him. It has provided him with a stepping stone that's close enough to his debut album to not alienate fans, but far enough away that he's grown and experimented with new moods and textures. (Dine Alone)