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It is hard not to feel badly for Alan Palomo, the mastermind behind Neon Indian, in the aftermath of the leak of his third studio record, VEGA INTL. Night School. The greatly anticipated project, which has been four years in the making, was accidentally put out by iTunes for a brief period to those who had pre-ordered it and so, as Palomo put it on Twitter, his work was "prematurely spurted into the ether with grace of a burrito fart" more than a month before its official October 16 release date.

But as heartbreaking as that disappointment must be for Palomo, especially after the excellent lead-up campaign that has preceded the release of VEGA INTL. Night School, he can rest easy knowing that this is not only Neon Indian's best record, it is one of the best of the entire year.

Both 2009's Psychic Chasms and 2011's Era Extraña are remarkably good records in their own right. The former helped vault chillwave into the stratosphere with tracks like 'Terminally Chill' and 'Deadbeat Summer' leading the way. Meanwhile, the latter showcased Palomo tightening his songcrafting skills and creating even more lush arrangements for his dreamy vocals. The four years that have passed since Era Extraña have only allowed Palomo to further strengthen, fine-tune and focus his music.

So from the outset ofVEGA INTL. Night School, beginning with the kaleidoscopic swirl of synth beauty 'Hit Parade', it is evident that something is different. There is grandiosity behind each and every single track. Not one song feels undeveloped or like album filler. Instead, all 14 tracks across the record's 51-minute run time ebb and flow together to form the project that Palomo has been building toward since the outset of his career.

Palomo's melodies are at their most refined, with early singles 'Annie' and 'Slumlord' both delivering the project's funkiest sounds yet and his confidence in his work is apparent. His voice is mixed front and center, crystal clear and presented for scrutiny after criticism that Era Extraña hid his voice and his passion. Such criticism will not play on VEGA INTL. Night School. "It's easy to be the miser/ When no one's the wiser" he croons in a voice that borders on falsetto during 'Slumlord'. The neon-splashed shuffle that backs that particular track makes it an indisputable highlight, with carefully placed twinkly synths making this song the ideal soundtrack for a late night dance. Some songs make dancing a compulsory behavior and nearly everyone on VEGA INTL. Night School does the trick.

The album's asymmetrical rhythm sections and extraordinary lyrical content also help set it apart from many of the other synth-funk projects that have come out in recent years, which, although fun in many ways, lack much of the depth Palomo brings to this release. Tracks such as 'The Glitzy Hive' and 'Dear Skorpio Magazine' feature some of Neon Indian's best lyrics laid over the project's most intoxicating production. The bouncy bass parts, saxophone flourishes, earworm melodies and bubbling keyboards will quickly inhabit the mind of anyone who gives VEGA INTL. Night School a spin.

Also worth noting is that Robert Beatty, the Kentucky-based artist who also did the cover for Tame Impala's own album of the year candidate, Currents, designed the absolutely pitch perfect cover that graces VEGA INTL. Night School, which depicts Palomo has a lost member of the Alfa Records lineup. His brilliant work here comfortably secures his spot as one of the best available album artists in the music industry right now. Palomo once gave a lecture on the myth of auteur and how truly great creatives will collaborate with others, something that has manifested itself both in the music and even in the artwork.

Palomo carries the principle vision for Neon Indian, but is more than willing to highlight the contributions of those who have helped him arrive at this place, with an extraordinary final product in hand. His brother Jorge helped in the recording of the record, Palomo's past project VEGA inspired the album's title and sonic tone, Alex Epton (XXXChange) mixed it and numerous sound clippings from B-movies and New York-centric flicks come into play as well.

But ultimately it is Palomo's vision of New York after dark that makes VEGA INTL. Night School the synth-pop masterpiece that it is. Having described the LP as the score to an imaginary film that plays in the seedy theaters of the city, Palomo set about to capture the otherworldly tone of New York by night. He noted in a press release for the record that "most of what [he has] learned about human nature in [his] twenties has happened after dark. People are just kind of more honest then. More deliberate. [He likes] to call the places [he] goes to Night Schools." In capturing this atmosphere, he more than succeeds. He flourishes.

The disappointment of a leak is understandable given the amount of work that clearly went into this record during its lengthy gestation, but as was stated before, Palomo should rest easy. This is, until further notice, his magnum opus. Not one sound is out of place, not one track over or under stays its welcome. Every element that made Neon Indian such a joy through the first two albums has been polished and improved upon to make a record that truly must be heard.VEGA INTL. Night School is the best album of 2015 thus far by someone not named Kendrick Lamar and everyone should make time to luxuriate in its incredible joys. Do yourself a favor and attend Night School.

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