Client: Mercury Records
Release Date: 2010-03-16
Project Manager: Michelle Fleishman
“I wanna shake up your system/I wanna rattle your bones/I wanna take you to the stars/And then I’ll leave you alone.” “Farther Down” Like their name, Neon Trees are a combination of slick pop hooks and sturdy organic rock, both melodic and hard-hitting, their anthems of adolescent angst, longing, love lost and found, delivered with the kind of heart-on-the-sleeve passion that only comes from hard work and commitment. .. read more
“I wanna shake up your system/I wanna rattle your bones/I wanna take you to the stars/And then I’ll leave you alone.” “Farther Down”
Like their name, Neon Trees are a combination of slick pop hooks and sturdy organic rock, both melodic and hard-hitting, their anthems of adolescent angst, longing, love lost and found, delivered with the kind of heart-on-the-sleeve passion that only comes from hard work and commitment.
Their Mercury Records debut, Habits, produced by friend, singer/guitarist Tim Pagnotta, is a refreshing blast of timeless rock energy and spirit that wouldn’t sound out of place at any point from ‘60s garage-rock to 2010 dance rock, with the first single, “Animal,” taking off from a round of weaving, angular guitars into a song equally at home in the arena as on the dance floor, a paean to sexual longing in which singer/front man Tyler Glenn wails, “Take a bite of my heart tonight.,” and you have no reason to doubt his sincerity.
Take hook-happy new wave, add to it the classic-rock story-telling humanity and leaven with other-worldly charisma, and you begin to understand the palette Neon Trees are working from.
“I have this weird, obsessive nature of wanting to be a superhero,” admits Glenn, who cites his two favorite performers as the Boss and the King of Pop. “I just want to help my friends and the people I love by saving them, only to realize they’re really saving me by listening to the music. The songs are all about forgiveness, love and passion, which basically sums up the whole vibe of what we’re about as a band, professionally and spiritually.”
In the opening “Sins of my Youth,” Tyler reminisces about a childhood of trial, error and eventual self-discovery. “I’ve got these habits I cannot break… Call me crazy/I was born to make a mess.” “Your Surrender” takes Roy Orbison’s romantic plaint and sets it up against Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, while “Girls and Boys in School” speaks for itself, with a playground chant over a dark yet sing-along synth-pop chorus. Chris Allen has a quirky, edgy Johnny Marrr-meets-The Edge guitar playing while drummer Elaine Bradley drums with the intensity of John Bonham adding a heartbeat to the sensuality of the songs.
“We’re all about songs which relate the human experience,” says Las Vegas native, bassist Branden Campbell. “The emotion is very important to us. Our logo is a human heart with wings. We try to keep it real, but we’re not afraid to dream, either, work hard and admit we want success.”
“We approach the songs from a classic perspective,” adds guitarist Chris Allen, who formed the initial group in Southern California with neighbor Tyler, who lived around the corner. “Even from the start, it was all about the music for us. We didn’t even talk, just practice.”
“I’ve always tried to keep my feet on the ground with my songwriting,” adds Tyler, a self-taught musician who began composing when he was six. “I try to focus on getting out what I’m thinking and feeling. It’s a tool to help me cope with all the weird things that come into my mind. I’m just happy to have found that outlet.”
When Allen moved to Provo, UT, to attend school, Glenn followed him, knowing he wanted to play music with Allen.
“That was a real awkward trip,” laughs Chris. “We drove all the way out there and hardly said a word to each other. All we knew was we wanted to play music together.”
Once there, they were soon joined by Campbell on bass and drummer Bradley, a Midwestern Led Zeppelin/Depeche Mode fan, a combination that clicked despite the fact the individual members eventually discovered they were all very different people.
“We are all so fascinatingly different,” explains Bradley, who has been playing in bands since she was 14, first as a guitarist then as a drummer. “Tyler’s the quirky serious type who is really a goofball. Branden’s the musical history encyclopedia. Chris is the manual labor. Being in this band is like an arranged marriage where divorce is not an option, and I’m ok with that.”
Being signed to a major label hasn’t changed Neon Trees one bit.
“Our goal and how we play are still the same,” insists Tyler. “We’ve always tried to evoke a larger-than-life feel, even if we’re playing to 10 people in a garage. We’re just trying to keep our feet on the ground and remember why we started doing this in the first place.”
“Music is a sacred act of communion for me, offering hope and love,” says Tyler. “That’s the heart of this band. Just like in life, though, you need to have fun, too, you have to laugh and dance and sing. The songs that last and get people to feel something are the ones they can sing along to and really identify with.” “There’s so much breath to what we do,” adds Elaine. “Every song represents a different aspect of our sound. We don’t stick to a single formula. And we have the goods to back it up live.”
“Our favorite thing is playing live shows, traveling, seeing new places, meeting new people,” adds Chris. “We just want to share that feeling we got from the bands that inspired us, and then We want to pass the torch.”
With their major label debut, Habits, Neon Trees light the fire.
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Neon Trees Go Retro in New Video, "Habits" Hits #1
Neon Trees’ Debut Habits Hits #1 on Alternative New Artist Chart Band goes analog in retro new video for “1983”
With last week’s release of their debut album Habits, Mercury Records band Neon Trees are firmly planted in the charts, scoring an impressive #1 on Soundscan’s Alternative New Artist chart. Check out Habits on iTunes, including 2 bonus tracks for just $6.99: Click here
After the Utah-based band took SXSW by storm, they made their national television debut last night on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. Watch them wow the Kimmel crowd with their massive pop-rock single “Animal” here: Click here
The band premiered a new video for the dance floor-filling track “1983” on Buzznet today, complete with distortion, static, tracking errors, wonky angles and all those analog video quirks you know you miss. Take a look: Click here
Habits is now streaming in its entirety at TheStreetDate.com: Click here
If you’re interested in an interview with Neon Trees or if you’d like a copy of Habits to review for your site, let me know! For more info, check out the full press release below.
Neon Trees’ Debut Album Habits Explodes with #1 Debut on Alternative New Artist Chart, Top 10 Overall At iTunes!
SXSW performance followed by national TV debut last night on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live
(March 24, 2010 – New York, NY) Living up to their status in Alternative Press as one of the “Bands To Watch In 2010,” the Utah-based Mercury Records group Neon Trees – who performed last night on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live – scores an impressive #1 Soundscan Alternative New Artist chart with their first album, HABITS (out now), featuring their debut single, “Animal”, and Top 10 Overall at iTunes, where it garnered the rare 5-star iTunes customer rating. HABITS was driven by the Single Of The Week campaign for “Animal,” which also debuted at #1 on the Alternative Specialty Chart in its first week out in January.
Neon Trees began to receive maximum exposure in the weeks leading up to the release of HABITS, when “Animal” was featured on the January 31st episode of VH1’s new series, Secrets of Aspen. On March 16th, “Animal” was heard on the CW’s Melrose Place. The night before, on March 15th, the CW’s Life Unexpected featured another album track, “1983.”
The video for “Animal” has been added to MTV2, MTVu, VH1 and FUSE. Showing off Neon Trees’ affinity for western plains friends (and fellow Island Def Jam label mates) the Killers. It was Las Vegas band the Killers who pulled Neon Trees out of obscurity in Provo, Utah, and exposed them to tens of thousands of new fans on tour. The dry desert vista of the “Animal” video pays homage to the Killers’ debut video, “Somebody Told Me.”
Bicoastal audiences caught their first glimpse of Neon Trees In January, when they made their New York City premiere at Mercury Lounge – followed by dates with Har Mar Superstar at Spaceland (Club NME) in Los Angeles and the Rickshaw Stop (Popscene) in San Francisco. In between, Neon Trees played back home at the 4th anniversary bash of Provo’s Velour Live Music Gallery. Neon Trees also appeared at this year’s SXSW (South By Southwest) Conference last week. Neon Trees are gearing up to join 30 Seconds To Mars on the road kicking off in April.
Neon Trees – Tyler Glenn (lead vocals, keyboards), Chris Allen (guitars), Branden Campbell (bass), and Elaine Bradley (drums, vocals) – has its roots in Southern California, where Tyler and Chris were neighbors. When Chris moved to Provo to attend college, Tyler followed him, and they were soon joined by Branden and Elaine.
HABITS, produced by the band’s friend, singer/guitarist Tim Pagnotta, is a blast of timeless rock energy and spirit that wouldn’t sound out of place at any point from ‘60s garage-rock to 2010 dance rock and beyond. “Music is a sacred act of communion for me, offering hope and love,” says Tyler. "That’s the heart of this band." Adds Chris, “We just want to share that feeling we got from the bands that inspired us, and then we want to pass the torch.”