Neon Indian's 'Toyota Man': Song You Need to Know - Rolling Stone
Home Music Latin Music

Song You Need To Know: Neon Indian’s ‘Toyota Man’

Chillwave mainstay’s first song in Spanish is a political protest — and a party

In the midst of President Trump’s impeachment hearings, Neon Indian is out with a new protest song that sounds like anything but a political dirge. Instead, it’s a super-bright, festive piñata — just packed with goodies that no one bargained for.

Alan Palomo dropped “Toyota Man” with a dizzying self-directed video that tells an alternate history of the Monterrey, Mexico, native’s life story (his parents make an appearance). Palomo kicks off the video standing at the U.S.-Mexico border flipping through Spanish cue cards — very Dylanesque — then finds himself hired to wash a bunch of Toyotas. The musician takes a rag to a red vehicle in what could be an ode to Kenneth Anger’s “Kustom Kar Kommandos,” as a Trump-shaped piñata comes to life at a backyard party and makes a run for it. There’s a puppet show about migrant labor, a cowboy giving birth to cars and all manner of wackiness before the Trump-ata gets hits by a car, spilling green cards across the road.

Palomo’s first song in Spanish, “Toyota Man” pulls from a variety of recognizable tunes for its source material: Spanish folk song “La Cucaracha,” “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Selena’s “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” and Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.” Soaked in a heavy dose of Neon Indian’s characteristic chillwave, “Toyota Man” finds Palomo singing about migrant laborers and DACA recipients: “We came here to study/We want to work/We’re all Americans.”

The track is Palomo’s first new music since 2015’s VEGA INTL. Night School and hints at a new direction for the indie-rock mainstay. He’s long spoken of singing in his native language, and if this track is any indication, more personal, political works could be on the way.

Find a playlist of all of our recent Songs You Need to Know selections on Spotify.


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.