Neon Indian


Written by Lucy Natek
Photos and illustrations by Various
23 Tuesday 23rd August 2011

Let’s start with the basics. What does Era Extraña mean?

In Spanish “extraña” means “strange” or “to miss.” Conceptually the title means “the missing era.” It stands for a society integrated in a technology-based culture in which people are left always looking and longing for something. Missing something.

Neon Indian - Fallout

Like with your first album: Did you lock yourself in your room again and just work until you came up with the right sound?

Kind of. I went to Finland, I was there completely alone for 6 weeks and I wouldn’t call what happened a meltdown, but it was a very eerie experience. I only pieced the sounds in coherent songs when I was back in New York and in a clear state of mind.

Were you under a lot of pressure to put out another successful album?

I’d be lying if I said I didn't think about people having expectations, but initially Neon Indian was fun because there were no limitations or expectations, and I wanted to continue the narrative of me just making art.

In that case, does Era Extraña sound nothing like Neon Indian in 2009 but like Neon Indian in 2011?

Well, I couldn't write just another lo-fi record with a limited set of tools at home because it wouldn’t be a representative of where I am now. Plus, why would I even want to write the same record twice? I had to find a new sound that was exciting to me.

What did you come up with then?

A more textural, inherently rough sound, inspired by shoegaze and post punk. I took those compositions and writing styles, and replaced the guitars with computer sounds and synth.

You have a bit of an ADD when it comes to music, jumping from one project to another. Do you plan on making Neon Indian stick around?

Neon Indian is special, because it allows me enough freedom to gravitate between sounds, but I still plan on going back to my other projects. I think I’ll never stop jumping around different identities but that’s what Neon Indian needs if I want to keep it interesting and fresh.

Is Era Extraña your diary of the past two years?

It does have the same scrapbook quality as “Psychic Chasms,” yes. Although I was working with a concept this time around, I always need to find a way to filter what I want to say through my own experience. It’s just the way I work.

Neon Indian - Polish Girl

What did you write in this two year diary?

I’ve been on the road pretty much non-stop and what I learned from it is that among all the people you have in your life, the people you think about and miss are few and far between. I want to keep a reminder from this experience that your friends, family, kindred spirits are not to be taken lightly.

So is there a Polish girl?

Yes, yes, there is. I’ll keep the story to myself though, if you don’t mind, haha. 


Era Extraña will be released in the UK on September 13th. Keep up to date with Neon Indian's releases and his return to London on his site here

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