Twenty One Pilots are back with four preview tracks from their forthcoming album Trench. The eccentric duo of Josh Dun and Tyler Joseph hit it big back in 2015 with hits such as “Stressed Out,” “Tear In My Heart” and “Ride.” Now that it is 2018 – three years removed from the release of Blurryface – many fans are asking: What will they do next?
All of the things that make Twenty One Pilots who they are find their way onto these pre-release tracks. The gritty bass sounds, bright synthesizers and catchy choruses will sound familiar to veteran fans. Even though the band stays true to what makes their sound unique, music fans who aren’t into the band’s previous sound should enjoy how these musical ideas are expressed in a more mature and unique way.
The duo also adds some elements of modern Southern hip-hop into their sound. The most obvious examples are in the song “Levitate,” which feature Travis Scott-esque, wavy synthesizers. The Southern hip-hop elements fit in seamlessly with the duo’s heavy musical aesthetic and add another layer to the band’s already complex sound.
While this handful of songs still uses the signature piano and synth sounds, the duo seems more comfortable allowing other sounds to drive the music forward. For example, “Nico and the Niners” uses a light guitar riff that drops out during the verse to make way for the synthesizers, which deliver a subtle countermelody.
The lyrical themes of connecting with others in spite of mental illness and coming-of-age are present in the pre-release songs just as they were in Blurryface. But just like the sound of the album, the way the lyrical ideas are expressed feel more mature and thought-provoking. The lyrics sound less like a high schooler on Tumblr and more like an inspiring poem by the creative kid in your English class.
These new songs show a lot of promise. All of the risks taken in these songs paid off in an awesome and raw way. I think that Twenty One Pilots fans can legitimately hope for the duo to release their magnum opus if they continue to experiment and take sonic risks. If the rest of the songs on the album sound as good as these pre-release tracks, we could have a certified genre classic on our hands.
By: Joseph Cotton | Guest Writer