With track names like “Terminally Chill” and “I Should’ve Taken Acid with You,” Neon Indian is a serious contender for band with the coolest song titles. My personal favorite is “Ephemeral Artery,” which happens to be one of my favorite tracks from the group’s debut album Psychic Chasms, which came out last year on Lefse Records.
Neon Indian is probably best known for their single “Deadbeat Summer,” a quirky little indie sleeper hit last year (#13 on my Top 20 tracks of 2009) that helped spawn the so-called Glo-Fi movement. But thanks to a bit of serendipity, they made their national television debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon a couple weeks ago, where they played a medley of “Ephemeral Artery” and Fallon’s personal favorite “Terminally Chill,” and suddenly they’re one of the most buzzed about bands going into next week’s SXSW festival in their hometown Austin, Texas.
Now I only liked, not loved, Psychic Chasms, but the buzz is justified. Despite the lo-fi aesthetic, Neon Indian’s pop sensibilities are obvious, and so is their knack for producing monstrous beats that you could see crossing over in the club. If they properly harness their talents or find the right collaborators, I think the commercial potential is significant.