The Best Songs in Dallas Music, 2010: Neon Indian Gets Corporate Backing and Pens Its Strongest Track to Date at No. 3

[Over these last few days of 2010, we'll be presenting our favorite local songs of the year, counting down from No. 25 to No. 1, one track a day. Today, we take an in-depth look at song No. 3 on the list -- and, please, feel free to click after the jump for a free download of the track. Also after the jump, check out songs Nos. 50-4 in the Top 50 list that will update as it grows...]

After having experienced a pretty massive 2009, Neon Indian blew up even bigger in 2010, coming into its own and earning rave reviews from even the lamestream and teen pop icon sets, who arrived late to the party that was the Denton-sprung band's debut full-length, Psychic Chasms.

And, hell, even soda companies jumped on the bandwagon.

Mountain Dew, with their recently launched Green Label Sound label, formally positioned itself as a Neon Indian backer in March, when the company released the first post-Psychic Chasms single of Neon Indian's career, a song called "Sleep Paralysist," which featured co-production work from Grizzly Bear's Christ Taylor alongside Neon Indian's North Texas native frontman, Alan Palomo. The extreme-to-the-max soda company even paid for the song's music video -- the band's very first official one, by the way.

Here's the thing about that single, though: It may have come with massive hype -- Palomo's face was plastered all over billboards Austin in at March 2010's SXSW Festival, which conveniently came just after the song's release -- but it also lives up to it. In fact, "Sleep Paralysist," may be strongest, and most fully realized, single that Palomo has ever released over the course of his young, but ridiculously impressive, career.

Bonus mp3:

Neon Indian -- "Sleep Paralysist"

Neon Indian -- "Sleep Paralysist"

Right at the song's introduction, it becomes abundantly clear: With Mountain Dew's backing and with Taylor co-helming the production, this song is different from the bedroom recordings Palomo had so impressed with in his early Neon Indian, VEGA and Ghosthustler work. It's a sharp sound -- not unlike the rest of Palomo's work -- just suddenly slicker.

Which bodes well for Palomo's future -- the chillwave boom of the late ''00s and early '10s came only have so long of a shelf life. And while still true to the aesthetic of the genre that Palomo, willingly or not, helped spawn, this song is more of an electro pop gem than anything else.

And what a gem it is -- a wall of sound of blips, bleeps and synths that approaches sensory overload.

But it's more than just an earworm. It's also something of an insight into Palomo's world.

"Don't sleep," the enigmatic frontman sings in the song's hook. "In the morning this'll all seem fake."

Is this what Palomo thinks of his moment in the sun? Perhaps -- especially when paired with these lyrics that appear later in the track: "Watch you lose yourself / In momentary grace / It washes over you / Then loses every trace."

After the year Palomo's had, though, added to the track record he's shown in prior years, fleeting fame isn't likely to become a problem for him.

Thanks to the musical progression on display in "Sleep Paralysist," we can confidently predict that we'll be hearing from Palomo and Neon Indian for years to come.

The Top 50 Local Songs of 2010 (Links to music videos and free song downloads available where applicable; links to streams where neither a download nor video exists.)
50. Dear Human - "Waiting"
Nervous Curtains - "All Yesterday's Parties"
Spector 45 - "Try Try Try"
Smile Smile - "Beg You To Stay"
Robert Gomez - "A Natural State"
45. Florene - "Parc Bitch"
44. Mount Righteous - "Eat Your Wife and Kiss The Barbecue"
43. The Strange Boys - "Be Brave"
Soft Environmental Collapse - "A Horse & Buggy Complex"
41. Deepspace5 - "Killing With Kindness"
Sextape -- "Lubricated Intimacy"
Museum Creatures - "Song ABC"
38. Ocelot - "Beating Hears"
37. Sir Silky - "The Squeeze (The Answer)"
Bone - "Homegurl"
35. Ishi - "Come Closer"
34. Hoyotoho - "Born Black"
33. Dorrough - "Get Big"
Katie Carroll - "Paper Girl"
31. Final Club - "Ruded"
30. Treal Lee & Prince Rick - "Throwed Off (Fuck Errbody)"
South San Gabriel - "All Night Long"
The Rocket Summer - "Walls"
Darktown Strutters - "Lucifer Rising"
School of Seven Bells - "Windstorm"
24. The Burning Hotels - "Austin's Birthday"
Doug Burr - "At The Public Dance"
22. The Flowers of God 

feat. Sarah Jaffe

feat. Sarah Jaffe

feat. Sarah Jaffe

feat. Sarah Jaffe

21. Dondria -- "You're The One"
20. Sundress - "Locust"
19. Blixaboy - "Lion Eyes (featuring Emil Rapstine)"
18. A.Dd+ feat. Brown of Sore Losers - "Likeamug"
17. The Secret Handshake - "Every Single Time"
16. Lalagray - "The Hard Part"
15. Sore Losers - "Free Loaders"
14. Leg Sweeper - "Sexy Weekend"
13. Midlake - "Rulers, Ruling All Things"
12. Ryan Thomas Becker - "So Speak"
11. Analog Rebellion - "You've Been Had (Machine)"
10. Mind Spiders - "Worlds Destroyed"
9. Kimberly - "Sociopath"
8. Old 97's - "The Magician"
7. The Beaten Sea - "Doctor's Not Gonna Cure Our Ills"
6. The Orbans - "Like a Liar"
5. Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights - "Devil's Basement"
4. Erykah Badu - "Window Seat"

Neon Indian -- "Sleep Paralysist"

Neon Indian -- "Sleep Paralysist"

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman