Written by Carmen Mueller
It’s been too damn long. Twenty One Pilots is back my friends. The duo that we love last released the track “Heathens” for the Suicide Squad soundtrack two years ago, and it’s been over three years since they dropped their album Blurryface. If you have been keeping up with bandmates Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, then you may be aware of the cryptic tweets that have been circulating from the band’s Twitter account. Images of past songs written backwards and strange graphics of a bird’s eye have been causing a lot of buzz among TOP fans; some of the buzz has been well received, while others have displayed annoyance towards the marketing move. Still, fans have been waiting in anticipation for new material; so when the band announced on Twitter that their next album Trench is to be released on October 5th, people freaked. TOP dropped two singles as well, “Jumpsuit” and “Nico and the Niners”. Of course, I’ve got some thoughts on the new songs, so let’s dive into that.
TOP uploaded a music video for their first single “Jumpsuit”, and only thirty seconds into it and it seems like the cryptic vibe is here to stay. Joseph is standing on top of a smoking car muttering, “We’ve been here the whole time. You were asleep. Time to wake up,” and then the car proceeds to just burst into flames. The video is beautifully shot and there is a lot of imagery to analyze, but that is not what this is about. The song is the true star here. “Jumpsuit” is our first glance into this era of TOP and its sound and energy is what I have been missing. TOP is known for their great song writing and that is not lost on this track. Joseph recounts the unnerving feeling that comes with discovering a new place and the pressure one feels to perform. This song definitely has elements of some of their older projects and their newer projects. Bits and pieces of 2016’s “Heathens” can be heard; vocal manipulations add to the eeriness of it all while Joseph sings on the track rather than rapping like he has on past hits. However, the production reminds me of “Car Radio” from their album Vessel. The beat is incredibly well produced and I couldn’t help but jam when the song brought back in screaming vocals. It’s a strong culmination of some of their best work and it really pays off.
The second single they released is “Nico and the Niners” and I would like to thank whoever decided that Joseph should rap on the closing of this song. The persona, Blurryface, was a huge influence on their last album, but I can’t help but feel like Blurryface is still present. “Nico and the Niners” opens with a deep distorted voice that sounds like something that would be the topic of a conspiracy video. The beat has a sort of creepy “Ride” vibe to it while being lyrically dark and uneasy. Talks of razorblades and not everyone surviving a mob of sorts reminds me of their Vessel material. It also connects perfectly to the previous song, “I’m heavy, jumpsuit is on steady”; it seems that this jumpsuit they have is a necessary safety blanket for the band. What they have to protect themselves from is unclear, but there is a reserved feeling coming from both of these new singles. Of course they could be apprehensive about dropping new music after a long time, but it seems like we’ll have to wait for the rest of the album in order to get the full story.
Check out the two new singles below!