Cage the Elephant Triumphs Over Adversity with 'Neon Pill'

Published May 16, 2024

Emerging from personal turmoil and tragedy, Cage the Elephant releases their new album 'Neon Pill' into the world. The journey to the album's creation was far from smooth, marred by significant challenges including the passing of close relatives, a global pandemic, and a deeply concerning period for frontman Matt Shultz who faced legal troubles and health issues.

The Struggle Behind the Music

In the wake of his January 2023 arrest for criminal weapon possession, Shultz underwent a transformative personal journey. Struggling with drug-induced psychosis as a result of prescribed medications, Shultz found himself entangled in a battle to reclaim his life from what seemed like an alternate self.

His road to recovery included a two-month hospitalization and extensive outpatient therapy, fostering a renewal not just in health but in artistic expression. The result is a charged, introspective 12-track album that challenges listeners while providing a window into the band's evolution.

Shaping 'Neon Pill'

Producer John Hill returned to collaborate with Cage the Elephant after their successful partnership on the Grammy-winning 'Social Cues.' His impact on 'Neon Pill' was profound, pushing the band to reach deeper creatively. Tracks like 'Ball and Chain,' 'Out Loud,' and 'Float Into the Sky' demonstrate a rich diversity of rock sounds, further solidifying Hill's influence on the band's music.

The album confronts Shultz's experiences head-on, particularly in the title track—itself an anthem rising to become the band's 11th No. 1 hit on the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart. 'Neon Pill' stands as a testament to their troubles and a celebration of perseverance.

A Family Affair and Tribute

Deeply personal stories infuse the music. Two songs reflect on the life of Matt and Brad Shultz's late father, with 'Out Loud' drawing directly from a family tale of regret and redemption. The album closes with 'Over Your Shoulder,' a poignant homage to their father's legacy, inspired by his own songwriting captured on old cassette tapes.

For Cage the Elephant, 'Neon Pill' marks a significant shift—a move to not just imitate their musical influences but to settle into their unique sound and style, confidently crafting music that resonates with their own stories and experiences.

adversity, triumph, renewal