By Courtney E. Smith
Between first single “Sleeping With A Friend” and singer Tyler Glenn’s choice to come out of the closet as a gay man, Neon Trees have had a particularly public album launch for Pop Psychology. So they’ve decided to lean into it with the video for “First Things First” and tell their story in video to accompany the lyrics.
The whole track is an exercise in oral histories in which Glenn constantly breaks the fourth wall to rap-sing about his life story to date. So the visuals that go with it are a photo and video album of the moments he references, with a little extra panache. We see his bad mohawk from his early twenties, video of early Neon Trees performances and the band’s first big tour with the Killers.
In the overall concept, Glenn lyrically addresses the idea of fame vs. artistry, saying he never wanted to be so famous but at the same time wishes to sing until he dies. With the same hand, he and his entire band utilize their personal narratives as a marketing tool to promote their album with this video.
The end result is an exploration of the complicated idea that fame and art are inescapably intertwined sometimes, but Glenn would have you know the man over the myth – but creating the myth is a necessary evil.
Check out the video for “First Things First” below.