Listen to Neon Trees’ “Everybody Talks”:
Neon Trees scored a Number One alternative hit with “Animal,” off their debut album, Habits. But that wasn’t the kind of success frontman Tyler Glenn was originally seeking with the Provo, Utah band. “Going into our first record we wanted to make sure we sounded cool and we wanted the cool kids to like us,” Glenn tells Rolling Stone. “We wanted to be one of the bands like the Strokes, like the White Stripes, that kind of band, and have the blogs like us and have the music media write about us.”
It didn’t work out though for Neon Trees to become hipster critics’ favorites. And Glenn thinks that’s for the best. “They didn’t, but we still had an amount of success and people were coming to our shows and [when] we were playing for full crowds my whole idea of what success was changed and I think I became a happier person because of it,” he says. “I wasn’t trying to reach for this hipster gold medal and instead I felt like I became more myself after that success. So I’m excited to be myself on this new album. I’m looking forward to that.”
“Everybody Talks,” the first single from the second album, tentatively titled Picture Show and planned for a possible March release, reflects that sense of fun. A catchy pop number that almost feels like an early Sixties tune, it is, according to Glenn, indicative of what the band was listening to of late. “We fell in love with a lot of like Roy Orbison and the Motown music that my dad listens to,” he says.
Produced by Justin Meldal Johnson, the album is not just several variations on “Everybody Talks,” Glenn says. “I think this new album is darker at moments than the last one and I don’t think our first song from the album sounds like that,” he says. “I think it’s gonna be more like a soundtrack in that way, it has more of a peak and a valley and a little more dynamic to that. “
The album’s working title takes its name from the band’s love of movies. “The movie that’s on repeat in the lounge that’s always playing right now is Silence Of The Lambs, which is kind of an odd choice and not very reflective of what any of the record’s gonna sound like,” he says. “But there’s actually a song in the movie [”Goodbye Horses”] by Q. Lazzarus and that’s just become the anthem song of this album. It’s one of the coolest songs we’ve ever heard.”