Neon Indian’s first album Psychic Chasms marked the emergence of a talent in what is a saturated genre – synthpop is decidedly in vogue right now, so it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. But it was a complex album, and its electronic stylings blew other contenders out of the water.

Era Extraña has a billing to live up to then, and it doesn’t disappoint. Retaining the warm, effects-laden instruments and catchy beats of the debut (and the genre), Neon Indian has replaced the element of playful psychedelia that most characterised Psychic Chasms as a stand-out, with a kind of seriousness that builds on that sound, often improving it. Era Extraña’s first single ‘Fallout’ is a good example of the change, its dark (but still lush) chords extending over a slower, less central beat; and Alan Palomo’s lead vocal is quieter, less expressive and deeper, offering something different from a band who had the difficult task of finding something to add to their work from first to second album.

Now, the idea of a band “maturing” on their journey from a debut to a follow up is as clichéd as it gets, and that idea shouldn’t be overplayed. Plenty of what makes up Era Extraña, and what makes it a work of quality, is carried over from the sunshine-feeling arrangements of Psychic Chasms. ‘Halogen (I Could Be A Shadow)’ is anthemic, joyous, affirming; ‘Hex’ makes use of the video game-style synth timbres that opened the debut, and is one of Era Extraña’s strongest tracks.

Though there’s definitely something different about Era Extraña, it does feel more “grown up" in some ways. And it feels, perhaps, more in keeping with earlier exponents of the genre (New Order are a point of comparison) than some of the recent inaugurations. ‘Suns Irrupt’, a relation to ‘Fallout’, is pensive, again moderate to slow, and subtle. ‘The Blindside Kiss’ draws on alternative rock and grunge, and Palomo’s sighing chorus (accentuated by the liberal use of effects, it has to be said) is another indicator that Neon Indian might mellow over time.

Then again, they might not. And for now, it’s a brilliant combination of styles. Neon Indian have done very well not to lose the blend that made Psychic Chasms such a good debut and Era Extraña such an anticipated work, and have done very well, too, to deliver on that expectation.