Neon Trees new album Pop Psychology is an upbeat collection of sleek, modern alternative pop songs powered by singer-songwriter Tyler Glenn’s bright melodies, huge choruses, and witty lyrics about the challenges of finding love in the digital age. With disarming honesty, songs like ”Love In the 21st Century,”
“Text Me In The Morning,” “I Love You, But I Hate Your Friends,” and first single “Sleeping With A Friend” cleverly capture the millennial concerns referenced in the titles and deliver them in impeccably shiny sonic packages, thanks to the band’s performances and production by Glenn’s long-time friend and songwriting collaborator Tim Pagnotta. Style-wise, Glenn feels that Pop Psychology blends sounds from the Provo, Utah-based quartet’s previous two albums, 2010’s guitarpop-driven Habits and 2012’s electro-fueled New Wave-inspired Picture Show. “I think this is the first record where we combine both and really sound like Neon Trees throughout the entire album,” he says.
But Pop Psychology almost didn’t happen. After Neon Trees wrapped a support tour with The Offspring in the fall of 2012, Glenn found himself deeply unhappy personally and ready to give up on music altogether. “We hadn't really slowed down since we put out our first record,” Glenn says of the heady time that followed his forming Neon Trees with guitarist Chris Allen in 2005. (The two were soon joined by bassist Branden Campbell and drummer Elaine Bradley.) “I was discovering who I was on stage, but I had to do it in front of audiences. I realized that I’m pretty outgoing as a performer, but am this really quiet guy off stage. It was like I had to flip a switch. I would tell people from the stage, ‘Be yourself, be happy with who you are,’ which was an honest statement, but I also felt like, ‘How can I say this and look into fans' eyes and mean it?’”