368 days. That is how long Twenty One Pilots were gone. During this “hiatus”, there has been no activity from the band, online or otherwise.
On July 9, 2018 the band returned, and in some style. First mysterious billboards with the band's logo popped up in London, and fans were emailed a cryptic GIF by the band. Soon after, a single from the new album “Trench” was released, titled “Jumpsuit”. It was later accompanied by the release of another song, “Nico and the Niners”. We're going to look at how these songs hold up and whether the wait has been worth it. Hint: it has.
“We've been here the whole time. You were asleep. Time to wake up.” With that the song begins with an aggressive bassline. Rich with distortion and accompanied by Josh Dun's blistering drumming, the song sounds something straight from a punk rock album. It's great to see Tyler taking to the bass so well, since this riff provides a good backbone for the whole song. Tyler's vocals are mixed with voice effects, and lyrically there isn't too much to the song. He talks about resisting change and new places, with his Jumpsuit protecting him.
This song serves more as a gateway into the lore of the new album rather than a purely standalone song. In the climax of the song, Tyler screams out the lyrics while the bass and drums rise to a crescendo. For me, that's the best part of the song. In addition to the lore and references to the clues they'd left before and during the hiatus, there's also the new yellow-and-black aesthetic of the band to enjoy.
NICO AND THE NINERS
In contrasting style, this song starts with light and breezy ukulele chords. To accompany this are much more subdued bass and drums, with the former being much less distorted. Both these instruments are more subdued, which place more emphasis on the lyrics. Josh's hi-hat plays a big part in maintaining the rhythm and “light” feel of the song. The lyrics are confusing, but the Jumpsuit references still remain.
There are also references to “Dema”, one of the cryptic references the band kept making before the hiatus. “When Bishops come together they will know that, Dema don't control us, Dema don't control”. Parts in the song also talk of courage, and putting the razor blades away. Thematically that is more up TØP's alley, as is the addition of a short but hard hitting rap near the end. Tyler has great flow in this section, and it is the highlight of the song.
All in all, it looks like Twenty One Pilots have created an intricate world for Trench, filled with lore that will hopefully be elaborated on by the other songs in this album. Musically they seem to have tried out different things; from the voice effects to the ethereal techno effects in the background to the heightened presence of the bass. The band seems to be going in an exciting new direction, and I can't wait for October 5, 2018.
Wasique Hasan fights N'wahs during the day and TØP haters during the night. Fight him at the time of your choosing at: facebook.com/hasique.wasan