In a couple months, Alan Palomo is releasing his first album under his own name, away from the Neon Indian moniker he adopted when he started putting out music in the late ’00s. A few days ago, Palomo celebrated his 35th birthday, and last night posted a message about why he decided to not go by Neon Indian anymore.
“Inspiration takes many forms,” Palomo wrote. “I tumbled down a K hole of ‘I’m Your Man’ era Leonard Cohen interviews and became awestruck at how thoroughly he’d reinvented himself at 50. He was funny, slick, and had things to SAY.”
“It’s a tried and true 80s male rock cliche to leave your band in your mid 30s to make a ‘solo’ album,” he continued. “Sting, Ferry, Weller; they all did it but Lenny beat them to it the day he picked up a guitar. Suddenly, it felt impish to consider my own name. REFRESHING even? How could I resist this both sincere and silly plea to myself to shed the moniker?!”
Read his full statement below:
Let’s talk about turning 35. Let’s talk about the name change. Let’s lay it all out there! I’ve been making music in some form or another for going on 17 years. The professional epochs may be marked in projects, albums, and songs but the inner life that compels it all to manifest, the ‘me’ that wants to just make things is usually chuggin’ along, mostly unfazed by neither success nor failure.
This is not a unique feature. I think most musicians are always staring straight ahead out of a Wiley Coyote fear that if you look back, even for a moment, you’ll realize that you’re floating over the canyon’s edge and gravity will take you in one indignant swoop. So, looking back can be hard. But when I do, I don’t see a discogs page… I see friends, collaborators, and stories I wouldn’t trade for all the Hoochie Coochie in Chattanooga! I’m humbled to have this profession. I’m humbled to get to labor it. And I’m humbled to have fans to show for it.
As far as the name is concerned.. Inspiration takes many forms. I tumbled down a K hole of “I’m Your Man” era Leonard Cohen interviews and became awestruck at how thoroughly he’d reinvented himself at 50. He was funny, slick, and had things to SAY. It’s a tried and true 80s male rock cliche to leave your band in your mid 30s to make a ‘solo’ album. Sting, Ferry, Weller; they all did it but Lenny beat them to it the day he picked up a guitar. Suddenly, it felt impish to consider my own name. REFRESHING even? How could I resist this both sincere and silly plea to myself to shed the moniker?!
Is it costing more work to go by my own name rn? Sure. Is there a core gradient of fans who know me by name that spirals out to an outer ring who know “Polish Girl” through a Now-Thats-What-I-Call-Indie algorithm? Ditto. But 50 year old me might thank me for it in the long run! … For those who found it confusing: Neon Indian is not ‘officially retired’ so, relax. Using a name I donned at 20 is just not where my head is at, atm. I did a trilogy of LPs, tried to make a 4th that felt sorta forced, and wrote a whole different album in its wake. Does a rose by any other name smells just as dank, y’all?
In short, thanks for all the wonderful memories. I hope to get to spend the next 17 years forging more. Thanks for all the birthday wishes! And thanks for tuning in! May I forever be enshrined, yelling inside a CRT television.. It’s a World Of Hassle but well worth the work, bbs!
Alan Palomo’s new album World Of Hassle is out 9/15 via Mom+Pop.