Neon Trees' 'Psychology' translates well to live shows

Neon Trees wants to blow you away.

In recording its new album -- Pop Psychology, the band's third -- the Provo, Utah-based quartet had two goals: Balance the pure pop of its first record with the electro-synth vibe of its second; and let the creative process lead the music where it would in the studio, then worry about how to translate the songs to the live setting later.

Those two missions accomplished -- lead single Sleeping With a Friend provides a shining example -- the time to translate the songs from studio to stage is now.

"We've always considered ourselves to be a live band," drummer Elaine Bradley told The Beat.

"How to bring these songs to the live show took a little bit longer, but we purposefully set out to do it that way. In the process, we set out to make the show not only musically memorable, but visually memorable as well.

"We aimed high, and we ended up with a full-blown arena show for clubs."

She said the scale of the concert experience is the dream of "anyone who's seen (This is) Spinal Tap."

Pop Psychology emerged out of a couple of years of change for the band.

Neon Trees had become sort-of known for being Mormons, but now the band members do not all adhere to that faith. Bradley (who remains Mormon) and her husband had their first child. And, earlier this year, frontman Tyler Glenn came out of the closet in an interview with Rolling Stone.

Yet the result is joyous.

"The record is so upbeat and celebratory," Bradley said, "that in rehearsals we could feel even more of that excitement. It's really fun to feel the energy that these new songs bring to the set."

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