Neon Trees has a natural knack for producing fun, peppy tracks that have a slight retro feel to them and their newest single “Sleeping With a Friend” definitely has that same appeal that all of their music is based upon. The pairing of the common topic of a friends-with-benefits relationship with a blend of ’70s disco, ’90s pop, and modern alternative rock makes this a track that pretty much anyone can enjoy (ok, maybe those who are at the appropriate age of having a FWB, not middle school and under).
The keyboard and drums thrown into the spotlight with the guitars subtle in the background is truly what makes gives “Sleeping With a Friend” its old-school feel. In fact, it has that similar infectious poppiness of No Doubt‘s 1995 smash hit “Just a Girl” but with more of a storyline. In the most complementary way, it kind of fits in perfectly in a high-class bowling alley or roller skating rink, and who doesn’t love bowling or roller skating (apart from naturally clumsy people)?
The lyrics of “Sleeping With a Friend” are pretty much the perfect definition of a tasteful pro-friends with benefits track. It easily embodies everything that someone in that particular kind of relationship might be feeling, especially when it comes to deciding whether to turn it into a real thing or to move on with someone else. It even has a questioning kind of tone to it with lines like “why leave when I got you baby/it’s a risk but babe, I need the thrill” and shows that there will always be the underlying back-and-forth of whether this person is worth all the effort. Plus the chorus is pretty darn catchy, but I suggest that you probably shouldn’t be belting it out in public (specifically in your car with the windows rolled down and a prissy mom with her teenage daughter in the other lane next to you).
While it’s slightly slower than their other hits, “Sleeping With a Friend” is still a catchy song with an applicable current theme that some of their fans can probably relate to. It’s different but a good kind of different, in which it sounds retro and modern at the same time. Honestly, I wouldn’t even be surprised if it ends up in the next FWB-themed rom-com. But most of all, it’ll make their fans (and myself) interested to see what the rest of Pop Psychology is going to sound like.