With an almost year-long hiatus and cryptic social media messages, the silence of Twenty One Pilots is broken. From alternative rock duo that has brought fans the album Blurryface, their newest album Trench was recently released. Although some songs were leaked prior to the full album, this was better than their clever internet tricks.
As a fan of the both albums, Trench and Blurryface have very similar elements that make them worth the hype they have received. From their electronic sounds to deep lyrics and chill beats, the style seems close consistent despite the changes in Twenty One Pilots’ music. One major detail within the two albums stuck out to many fans and theorists while listening to the newer and older songs: mental health.
The lead singer of this duo, Tyler Joseph has been dealing with mental health challenges throughout his life, and his music clearly expresses this. Blurryface alludes to motifs of overcoming insecurities and dealing with different emotions. Although many of the songs have an upbeat sound to them, others are focused on distinct feelings with more mellow tones. Throughout the album, Blurryface is expressed as a character. This character represents the insecurities of Tyler Joseph and how he overcomes him. The second track on the album, “Stressed Out”, is the first to mention Blurryface and how he “cares what you think,” meaning that he is very self critical. In the final track, “Goner”, Joseph finally defeats Blurryface and ends his own suffering.
Trench, with similar vibes to Blurryface, addresses mental health themes as well. It tells the tale of Clancy, which is represented by Tyler Joseph, escaping the dystopian town of Dema. In the album, he is overcoming the struggles and emotions associated within the trenches of Dema. Common themes throughout this album include facing fears and fortifying hope, which are essential to beat the challenges of difficult life encounters. Trench additionally serves as a continuation of the previous album with revealing the true identity of Blurryface. One of the songs titled “Nico and the Niners” mentions that the dystopian city is run by nine bishops, which are represented by the nine circles on the cover of the Blurryface. The lead bishop, Nico, is the Trench representation of Blurryface, who happens to be controlling Clancy and a partial cause of his emotions. By the end of the album, the final track, “Leave the City”, shows Clancy leaving Dema and finally overcoming his struggles.
Symbolism and interconnected stories are no stranger to Twenty One Pilots’ music. Sophomore Ariel Rose says, “I can analyze that, but I do believe that ‘Jumpsuit’ (a song in Trench) is basically about him [Clancy] running away from Blurry and how much Blurry is controlling him. Especially in the music video.”
For years, this popular duo has been releasing content that has been both relatable and emotion for fans everywhere. But the deeper meaning of Twenty One Pilots has been a mystery waiting to be uncovered.