Three years after Pop Psychology, Neon Trees is back with an infectious new dance track, "Feel Good."
Despite the song's upbeat tempo and feel good lyrics, it was actually inspired by frontman Tyler Glenn's heartbreak and depression. Finding joy in failure is a common theme in queer music, but Glenn's honesty and strength here feels especially poignant. The openly gay struggling-Mormon opened up about an unrequited love and mental health on Twitter earlier today in a lengthy letter to his fans:
"I suffer from anxiety and depression and there are days I think about suicide as an option. I hate that it's even a option, but I must be frank, there are days it is. I hate that I'm even typing those words, because it's a brutal reality. And that's the brutal reality of anxiety and depression. It makes you think you're alone even when you're sitting next to your mom. Even when you're texting your best friend. Even when you're in love. Even when you're in a band "living the dream".
I used to blame all of it on my gayness. What a dumb crutch. What a dumb lie I was told early on in life that being gay was a sin. What a terrible terrible lie.
We're lied to our entire life. By learned behaviors and by imperfect humans and societal "norms".
So I wrote this song "Feel Good" right? You should've seen me when I was penning it. It wasn't me in a writers room trying to formulate melodies and find lyrics that rhyme with "good".
I was alone in my apartment on probably my third glass of wine and a burning marijuana joint, early this year in the dead of winter.
I was in unrequited love with a wonderful friend that could never feel those things back for me. This isn't his fault. Yet again here I was feeling shame about who I was and how I felt. This also wasn't his fault.
He sparked a certain joy in me that I kept trying to manifest. I became [a] weirdo that felt all these things and had no where to put them.
I thought I had done the work to be passed this already!! I thought saying the words out loud "I'm gay" a few years ago was the magic switch. That was another lie I bought into.
The truth is to anyone reading this:
I truly JUST WANNA FEEL GOOD.
that's it. I just want to get up one morning without having to remind myself I'm worthy of living my own life. I'm worthy of great friendships and worthy of love.
Im enough! That's not a lie.
If you watch this video, you'll see what goes on in my dreams when I think of the happiest moments. You'll see my dancing. I love to dance. You'll see my smiling. I hate to smile because it's so big and I feel goofy. You'll see Us playing this song and you'll see color and sun and palm trees and men and women loving each other and loving them selves.
This is not my everyday. This looks glossy and this is a fantasy.
The smirk in this freeze frame. This is me after the 6th take of performing that segment and I was scared for weeks to take my shirt off because I have body dysmorphia and there are actual days I don't see what people see.
I wanted so bad for the fans that I know by name that I've followed for years and years as you have us, I wanted you to feel my sincerity. I wanted you to feel good. Because I don't always. Because I'm in bed texting this post to my notes app in my phone with hot tears streaming down my cheeks."
In August, Neon Trees will be performing at LoveLoud, a music festival celebrating the LGBT community and bringing awareness to the teen suicide rates, the leading cause of death among queer youth. Imagine Dragons, Krewella, Nicholas Petricca from Walk the Moon, Joshua James, and Aja Volkman are also headlining the festival.
Watch "Feel Good" below.