Neon Trees first flashed onto the pop-rock scene with their catchy wardrobes and catchier tunes in 2008, and the band has produced two platinum singles, â€œAnimalâ€ and â€œEverybody Talks,â€ to date. Now, hot off the release of their latest album, â€œPop Psychology,â€ the band is dancing to Fourth Street Live! on Saturday, June 21.
Neon Trees have actually played Fourth Street Live! before, but drummer Elaine Bradley was absent with her newborn son. So sheâ€™s excited to be on board this time. â€œWe consider ourselves a live band. We bring a lot of energy,â€ she said. â€œThere are fun lights, there are usually outfit changes, there are stage pieces. Itâ€™s kind of like a Vegas variety show but with really catchy pop music.â€
The band, signed to Mercury Records, spins whimsically blunt lyrics with head-bobbing beats and sparkling, New Wave-inspired melodies.
â€œWe always love a good song, and a good song usually makes you want to either sing or dance or both,â€ Bradley said. â€œI think music is such a celebration, you know? At least thatâ€™s how we treat it.â€
The success of â€œPop Psychologyâ€ certainly has been something to celebrate. The album debuted at No. 1 on the top rock albums chart and No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart. Bradley said the groupâ€™s upbeat battle for success is far from over. â€œWe like to take steps back often and look at what we have and be very grateful. At the same time, weâ€™re super hungry, and we just always want more.â€
This record is the most complete and thorough presentation of what Neon Trees is to date.
â€œWe took what we learned by recording the first two albums. We figured out what we really liked about those processes and what we didnâ€™t like,â€ Bradley said. â€œWe decided ahead of time, â€˜Hey, weâ€™re not going to look at this album like itâ€™s going to be a live show. Weâ€™re going to make this album the way we want to make it.â€™ Wonderfully enough, all of the songs have really translated to live very well. So it worked out.â€
The band members credit their background with their dedicated work ethic and markable conduct, whether touring or at home. All are currently based in Provo, Utah, and are members of the Church of Latter-Day Saints. â€œI definitely think the â€˜no drugs and alcoholâ€™ policy doesnâ€™t hurt us at all, and I think, in fact, it helps us,â€ Bradley said. â€œI think thatâ€™s probably one of the reasons weâ€™re able to do what we do and work so hard at it, because we do it with clean living. Weâ€™re able to keep up with ourselves and still be healthy and resilient and happy.â€
But happiness hasnâ€™t always come as readily as resilience for this eccentric group. Two years ago, frontman Tyler Glenn found himself sliding into a kind of personal crisis. The suppression of his sexual identity was finally bubbling to the surface and by the end of 2012 the band was on a break and Glenn was seeking therapy.
The therapy helped, and Glenn, feeling refreshed, left for Mexico alongside lifelong friend and producer Tim Pagnotta, where they began to write songs for â€œPop Psychology.â€ Glenn had always been gay, but now, through tracks like â€œSleeping with a Friendâ€ and â€œTeenage Love,â€ he was emboldened and empowered to profess the thoughts and emotions he had kept secret for years.
Although a lot has changed for Glenn in the past year, Bradley hasnâ€™t seen much change within the bandâ€™s dynamic, or the way their music reaches fans. â€œItâ€™s not too much different, just because heâ€™s being honest about who he is. That doesnâ€™t necessarily affect the band, or our dynamic or anything like that,â€ she said. â€œI think itâ€™s great that people are finding inspiration in his honesty and things like that, but as far as how they affect us internally, it really doesnâ€™t, because heâ€™s still the same guy.â€
Itâ€™s difficult for anything to darken Neon Treesâ€™ spirits, or hold back the bandâ€™s poppy, post-punk sound.
â€œI hope that everybody comes (to the show),â€ Bradley said, â€œBecause itâ€™s going to be a great time.â€