Chillwave, vaporwave, or in general electronic music is a difficult art to master. It seems as if everyone wants to play it these days, and few people seem to really get it right. The electronic band, Neon Indian, seems to have mastered the ancient art of making great music though. Their third and latest album, VEGA INTL Night School takes on the neo-80’s scene and really hits the nail on the head.
VEGA INTL Night School is funktastic to say the least. Neon Indian takes you on a spacey, electronic voyage. Each song carries a powerful atmosphere, often reminiscent of the 80’s. Each song flows into the next like acts in a play. The mood is never broken and the music is solid.
When Neon Indian’s latest album kicks off, the listener is gently eased in. “Annie,” is an absolute throwback of a song; Neon Indian captures the mall-plastic vibes of the 80’s perfectly. The song features some very danceable melodies as well as a catchy vocal line. The synth-laden tune is stellar. The progression into the next track, “Street Level,” is an interesting change up. The song’s name is dead on, something about the groovy electronic jams bring you down into the dark streets of a big city. The bass line adds a funky layer of texture. VEGA INTL Night School starts things off just right and keeps it going.
A more memorable track, “Dear Skorpio Magazine,” seems to take a note from the vaporwave scene. The song sounds like a remixed, old, public domain track, wrapped up in some smooth lines of singing. Another great song, “61 Cygni Ave,” sounds like Australia –as if Neon Indian was heavily inspired by Men At Work. There’s a little reggae in there, mixed with some interesting choice of electronic effects. The song stands out as one of the more unique songs, however, delivered maybe a too late.
The entirety of the album is nearly an hour long, making for quite the listen. As great as the music is, it gets a little tiring. Neon Indian is relentless and unless you’re a real fan of the electronic scene, the album will begin to feel old at points –there’s just not enough diversity in the tracks to keep things interesting and fresh. Even if the songs get a little stale here and there, they’re not necessarily bad. It’s just a lot to take in.
At the end of the day it’s difficult to call VEGA INTL Night School anything less than really good. All the parts are there. The album features some awesome tracks that can really wrap the listener in and transport them to a totally different place. From start to finish, the band lays out song after song that will seduce your ears with some crazy electronic sounds. By no means is the album ground breaking, but it is very, very enjoyable.
Funky, groovy, atmospheric, and absolutely cool –Neon Indian’s VEGA INTL Night School is this whole wave of 80’s esque electronic done right. The album itself is concrete, but lacks some much needed extra something. More interesting or otherwise unique songs, to break up the flow of otherwise super similar tunes would be nice. Regardless, Neon Indian did a fine job. If you’re a fan of the 80’s, electronic music, VHS tapes, or just need a breath of fresh air, VEGA INTL Night School is the album for you.