It’s likely no accident that, at least on cursory listens, Psychic Chasms (Lefse Records) sounds out-of-time and incidental, like the gauzy score to a local-access television spot long relegated to the backwaters of YouTube. Certainly, there’s a degraded and lo-fi quality to this debut by NeonIndian,the project of 21-year-old Alan Palomo, who is based in Austin. That hissy, washed-over aesthetic is essential to the 30-minute album, but unlike the other glo-fi acts the blogosphere slobbered over all summer, Psychic Chasms has a productive tension between sound and songwriter.
The latter doesn’t always win: As background music, Palomo’s songs disappear into a staticky haze. Pay attention, though, and you’ll hear sunny, synthy outsider pop that distills everything good about Hall & Oates and The Avalanches, even as it unravels their lessons.
Neon Indian performs with Japandroids and Real Estate at the Rock & Roll Hotel on Oct. 19 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.