What happens when the band who pretty much branded chillwave comes out with a 2nd album? Well, they redefine it. Their last album Psychic Chasms was an incredibly unique experience, but sometimes felt a little too chaotic for its own good. Era Extraña takes everything I liked about Neon Indian, and creates an entirely fresh, polished chillwave experience.
Incredibly catchy beats and choruses carry chillwave to a new level and made Era Extraña one of the most delectable albums of the Fall. Songs like “Polish Girl” are instant classics with it’s pumping electrobeats. “Hex Girlfriend” could easily be remembered in history as the first chillwave sing-a-long with a chorus so contagious your hipster-hating friend who just listen to The Red Hot Chili Peppers may even join. I think what I appreciate most about this album is its level of creativity. Songs like “Arcade Blues” sample classic video game bits, which may initially sound super weird, but works, and the whispering chorus of “Halogen (I Could Be A Shadow)” is as ominous as it is comforting.
Even more interesting is when I had the chance to see these guys play at the Ohio Hipster Headquarters: the Grog Shop in Cleveland. Dancing to this stuff should have its own name because it’s the perfect balance of fist pumping and bouncing that you just can’t do to any other type of music. I really am not sure I have heard anything quite like Era Extraña before, but I am bobbing in my seat just thinking about about future releases in the new genre of tunes it just unleashed.
“I could be a shadow
In the light I’ll be behind you
When the glow is shallow
There’s a halogen inside you
It eclipses through me
When it’s you I see
And every turn I follow
We’re dancing with our shadows”
Must Listen: “Polish Girl”
Runner-Up: “Hex Girlfriend”