Though he typically doesn’t release music by his real name, Alan Palomo is perhaps one of the defining indie artists in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Back then, he released music under the name Neon Indian and rode the chillwave movement that acted as a precursor to what became bedroom pop and other similar genres. But after a hiatus of four years, he is enlisting equally impactful indie musician Mac DeMarco for his comeback single, “Nudista Mundial ‘89.” Continuing the long line of indie artists’ fixation on Ibiza, including but not limited to LCD Soundsystem and New Order, the track is about the two wandering around the island looking for a nude beach in what is best described as glitzy funk.
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Unlike previous work, Palomo sings entirely in Spanish, a switch-up he’s flirted with before but is now committing to. The change is welcomed and juxtaposes DeMarco coming in and out of the song with some slightly off-putting yet seductive spoken word. Predominantly featuring a synth you might hear come out of an obnoxious 80s workstation synthesizer, Palomo somehow plays it off as one of the track’s strengths, pairing well with the two’s Spanish underbelly musings.
True to the single’s video game cartridge artwork, the music video pays homage to 80s video game graphics that capture the spirit of the track thanks to animation by Johnny Woods and a color scheme akin to watching Miami Vice on acid.
Beginning with a video game startup screen calling back to the Commodore 64, the video finds the two going through various misadventures after arriving in Ibiza pursuing a nude beach. They come across a bipedal camel named Joe wearing a suit and accidentally flash a crowd during a swimsuit competition. You know, the usual outgoings when in Spain.
Since his debut in 2009 as Neon Indian, Palomo bears little resemblance to the kind of music he was creating. But that’s far from a bad thing and only proves he’s not allowing himself to be a moment-in-time artist remembered for being a forerunner. The same can be said for DeMarco, who is still going strong six albums in. With a pairing that influential, there’s little wrong with “Nudista Mundial ‘89.”
Words: David Sosa
“Nudista Mundial ‘89” by Alan Palomo is out on all streaming services. Tickets to his DJ sets this summer and fall, including a free Los Angeles date at one in Colorado in Pasadena, are available now.
For more on Alan Palomo’s new music, follow him on Instagram.
Upcoming DJ Sets
June 3, 2023 – Pasadena, CA – Summer Sounds at One Colorado
June 25, 2023 – Houston, TX – Sound Waves at El Segundo Swim Club
August 20, 2023 – San Francisco, CA – Stern Grove Festival with Flaming Lips