Twenty One Pilots, a two-member band originating from Columbus, Ohio, began their rise to fame with the release of their fourth album, Blurryface, in May 2015.
Since the release of Blurryface, lead singer Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun have been on a hiatus, touring internationally and working on developing new songs to release on their highly anticipated fifth album, Trench on Oct. 5.
Blurryface delivered monumental hits that skyrocketed their career from a humble band playing modest gigs to playing sold out shows in international arenas.
Blurryface delivered multiple number one hits for both dedicated fans and those hearing Joseph’s soft vocals and Dun’s powerful drum beats for the first time. These songs were given radio time and ultimately led to the band winning a Grammy in 2017 for best Duo Performance.
“Stressed Out,” “Ride” and “Heathens” are three of the band’s most popular tracks, although their popularity seems to be the only similarity between them. Twenty One Pilots is known for converging music genres and producing tracks that stray from common song structures.
This is especially prominent in the four singles the band has released for their album, Trench.
So far the band has given listeners a small taste of what’s to come on the fourteen song track list, though these four songs don’t necessarily tell audiences what to expect for the entire album. Fans who are familiar with the band’s past work understand that one sound on a Twenty One Pilots’ song could be drastically different from the next.
The singles released so far are “Jumpsuit,” “Nico and the Niners,” “Levitate” and “My Blood.” These songs, though released in conjunction with one another, are vastly diverse.
“Levitate,” a song with a steady electronic beat and fast-paced lyrics, describes Joseph as hopeless and wishing for a sign, saying “I know I shouldn’t say this but a curse from you is all that I would need right now.”
“Levitate” begins with the chorus of the song as an introduction and then a larger, single verse, where Joseph further explores darker themes of mental illness and coming to terms with the band’s newfound success. These are common subjects discussed in many of their albums.
In comparison, the track, “My Blood,” has a lighter feel, and carries a more indie-pop vibe through an upbeat sound, use of the tambourine and Joseph’s high falsetto in the chorus.
Fans have already begun to speculate what the deeper meaning is behind the songs and the Trench album, as Twenty One Pilots have revealed all of their albums contain hidden symbols and storylines.
This was true for their last album, Blurryface, as Joseph revealed “Blurryface” was the name he’d given a character to help identify and deal with his insecurities.
Joseph says in an interview with MTV News, “[Blurryface] is a character, a guy who kind of represents all of the things that I as an individual, and also everyone around me, is insecure about.”
To promote their upcoming album, the band has been continuously releasing cryptic messages that fans have been deciphering to better understand the symbolism presented in Trench.
Trench, as represented in Twenty One Pilots’ music videos for the four tracks they released, describes a cult society where a character, represented by Joseph and named Clancy, is dealing with his struggle to escape the society entitled DEMA.
Paige Williams, in an article for Billboard magazine, explains the meaning behind this storyline, saying, “[Clancy’s] journal entries chronicle his attempts to escape DEMA with a group he calls the Banditos, and ends with a letter explaining how DEMA felt like home after being there for so long, but he’ll never see it the same after escaping it… Clancy represents the side of Tyler that fought to get better, against the worst wishes of Blurryface dragging him down.”
Through the heavy material and varying sounds found in the four tracks the band has already released for their new album, fans can expect the remaining songs on the track list to be just as influential and diverse.