Track Review: Polish Girl, Neon Indian


Something that I’ve always thought was great about Neon Indian is their innocence and vulnerability in their music. There’s a certain purity in it that is so often lost in electronic music, a feeling of love that is thrown out in exchange for a sexy attitude or for some harder hitting beats. Neon Indian seems to abhor the idea of making “dance music” and instead writes a love ballad to their synthesizer in Polish Girl.

The track starts with the 6 note arpeggio as the lead and a warped bass line that has become one of Neon Indians signature. The lead feels like eating a piece of candy you used to eat all the time as a kid and have all but forgotten the flavor and memories attached to it, as soon as you pop it in your mouth all of your senses are flooded with summer evenings, green grass and the cool relief of night coming as the energy floods the streets. It flows through the song like an elusive smell and when you catch a sent you take it in greedily for fear it might dissipate like an unexplainable profoundly warming dream.

The lead and bass are soon joined by the sounds of electronic creatures, crickets, frogs, birds, all in a chorus of some scene on a bio-luminescent robotic lake. Seconds after the scene is set, fireworks are set off over the lake as the second lead kicks in like a dozen-dozen pre-historic tropical birds being released all at once. The spectacle continues for a while until the vocals start. The whispery style vocals of Neon Indian is a pervasive theme in a lot of electronic and indie music, often criticized, but it does have its place and serves a purpose to not burden the music with lyrics that might otherwise take away from the experience.

The song continues in a relatively predictable fashion, having set up such a wonderful framework it simply follows a standard route of Intro/ Verse/ Chorus/ Verse/ Chorus/ Bridge/ Chorus with a little synth freak-out after the first chorus being the high point of the song for me and the bridge being the lowest.

While the video for this song has a nice aesthetic, the hyper-future dark sci-fi feel just doesn’t seem to fit the song. I find it frustrating that just because something is electronic it seems to automatically mean that it is inorganic (in literal terms I guess that’s true). This song is a ride through an enchanted forest at twilight, not a dystopian cyborg future. I would love to see a switch from the standard “sound of the future” view of electronic music to a recognition of the¬†inherent mysticism of (literally) creating sound out of thin air.

All in all, great track.