Neon Indian kicked off his “Invasion Musical Total” tour of North America last month. Now, the musician born Alan Palomo is back with “Toyota Man”, his first-ever single sung in Spanish, his native language.
The track finds Neon Indian taking on a noticeably more political tone as he tackles immigration issues and recounts his own path to American citizenship. “We come to study/ We want to work,” he sings on “Toyota Man”, which folds in new “psych-cumbia” sounds.
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Its self-directed video visually depicts Neon Indian’s journey from Monterrey, Mexico all the way through to Texas. The clip prominently features a life-sized piñata of Donald Trump that’s chased around by a pack of children. Watch it below.
In a statement, Neon Indian discussed his decision to be more blatantly political in the wake of this current administration’s dehumanizing immigration policies,
“’Toyota Man’ was filmed along the road map of what essentially was my path to American citizenship: Monterrey, the Nuevo Laredo border, San Antonio, and finally Austin. The process is a multiple decade commute known by many Latinos and other Americans. Though my music has always been generally apolitical, I realized when recording this song that it was impossible to write biographically (in the rhetorical context of the Trump administration) without being entirely that: political. The story of my family, which before felt commonly American, was suddenly politicized. Recognizing the absurdity of it all, I thought it would be refreshing to address the social narrative around immigration through comedy – nods to Benny Hill, misremembered San Antonio car commercials, and School House Rock.”
Neon Indian’s current tour runs through the end of November, and you can grab tickets here. The musician put out a “seedy” short film titled 86’d last year, but his last full-length album, VEGA INTL. Night School, dropped way back in 2015.