We’re well and truly hooked on the warm, engaging pop-punk meets emo and indie rock sound of Pittsburgh newcomers Old Neon.
The band have quickly established themselves as one of the hottest prospects on the Pittsburgh music scene. But they freely admit it’s far from revolutionary, having latched onto a sound and style that works in quickly drawing the listener in. As songwriter Sean puts it: “I’m not reinventing the wheel, I’m just trying to drive.”
Our first taster of this is debut single Warmer Weather, which was released two weeks ago and gives us plenty to get excited about.
It opens up with laid-back guitars that drop into singer Andrea’s opening engaging high-pitched vocals “If I could find a way to make believe, January air becomes the summer breeze, And I could feel the warmth of your embrace, Before the cool of autumn takes its place.” That feeds straight into the big catchy chorus with repeats of “I hope you fly home to warmer weather” over livelier guitars and drums.
It drops back into another more laid-back verse led by Andrea’s vocals “If I could find a way back to July, Fireworks could paint the empty sky, But as the leaves of time began to change, I saw your hand begin to slip away,” and leads into another chorus.
The heaviness increases with stabs of guitar over edgier vocals “Bottles empty before noon, Try to save you I still do, But you’re not alone when you come down.” That drops into light repeats of the chorus vocals that build up to a big few final repeats. Trust us, this one’s going to be stuck in your head for a while. Check it out here:
The band are doing some acoustic videos on YouTube during the Covid-19 lockdown, so go and check the first one for Eulogies.
We had a chat with Sean to find out more. Read on below…
GR: Who are Old Neon?
Sean: “We are songwriters who had all been involved in the local open-mic scene in Pittsburgh. I met our singer, Andrea, at an open stage in Lawrenceville. I thought she had a real gift, so I begged her to start singing with me while she was working on her own solo stuff and we became fast friends.
“Then I asked my local guitarist friend Zach to join – and we put out an ad for a drummer on Instagram, which Alex found and we just all started hanging out and making music! I rented a practice space in Pittsburgh and just started holding weekly practices until the songs started to come together and here we are!”
GR: You just released Warmer Weather. What should people be expecting from the song?
Sean: “Warmer Weather is a song about the kind of seasons you go through with people. In this case it’s specific to a relationship I had. We met in the summer and by winter things had changed. We agreed that we wanted to get back to the summer, but you just can’t go back, so it kind of dissolved.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
Sean: “I like to think that we blend a few things like pop-punk, emo, and indie – but i’m probably being too generous with myself. The songs have good melodies and they’re fun. I’m not reinventing the wheel, I’m just trying to drive.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
Sean: “To be honest, it’s something I’ve always done for the love of doing it. When I was younger, my uncle died, and he played guitar. His guitars were shipped to my father and I just started playing and fell in love with it. Themes can vary – I’ve had similar experiences to most people, I think, so I hope we can all listen and commiserate.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
Sean: Tom Petty was someone that I would listen to with my dad when I was young. So that was something we both liked and had in common, but as I got older, I think I got more interested in things like New Found Glory and Further Seems Forever
GR: What have you got coming up in 2020?
Sean: “We actually have more songs on the shelf right now. We’ve been recording a lot, but the studio got shut down, due to Covid-19. I don’t know how things are going to shake out. It’s a weird time in history right now.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
We release most of the stuff for free on Bandcamp, we give out free shirts at shows when we have them, so I hope that happens again!”