The long awaited album, Trench, from Twenty One Pilots was released today and you should give it a listen. Catchy tunes, deep lyrics, and more songs that are reminiscent of something I can’t quite place, because TØP makes everything they do uniquely their own, are on this album. The answers to mysteries have been revealed and more have found themselves being questioned. We find out who Blurryface is and delve into the where of his existence, a world that is contained in Tyler Joseph’s mind and now ours, too. Sadness and hope mingle once again in a way that finds a firm foothold while nearing the band’s decadeversary. You’re in for a ride with this one, so let’s take a trip through the Trench and see if we can make our ways out.
They picked the perfect song to start the album with. Jumpsuit really sets the whole tone. It’s increased in familiarity since I first discussed Jumpsuit and Nico and the Niners, which definitely helped, because by knowing the words, it became an open door that I could walk through into the rest of the album. Where it departs from the Blurryface album sonically, opening with such a distinct and punchy song, it dives deeper into the powerful lyrics.
Tyler Joseph rapping about things that I can’t quite be sure I understand is a part of life at this point. This track continues to lay intellectual groundwork and has some interesting fluctuations and flourishes, but the best is yet to come.
Where are you?
Great beat and the vocals are beautiful in this song, particularly towards the end. This song moves through genres and metaphors in the way only they can pull off. You can almost hear the difference between the points of reality and dreams he’s not sure he can meet without even deciphering a single word. For an album that explored the world of a character that embodies self-doubt and fear, it’s oddly grounded. This song is exemplary of that.
NICHOLAS BOURBAKI! I feel like Hermoine when she finally figured out how she knew Nicholas Flamel’s name. Is that Harry Potter reference okay? You know, because we’re about to get even [delightfully] nerdier here. Great. So, Nico’s full name is Nicholas Bourbaki. “He” is actually a group of mathematicians that worked together to unify theories and such. I have so many thoughts about this song. I went down an absolute rabbit hole starting at the Bourbaik reference all the way to the creepy voice singing “Josh Dun” at the end.
This song references an “if” to death.
What could that mean? Are we discussing scientific advancements or the idea that the difference between life and death is merely a comma? Then what does that mean for Dema? It seems as though the trench is escapable, but to escape, one must become camouflaged. Is Dema Earth?
Ones and zeroes, ergo this symphony.
There is an old philosophical place where math and music meet in the Musica Universalis. With the mention of binary leading into a symphony, that is what came to mind. You should look it up. It’s pretty interesting, even if it doesn’t actually apply to this song. Also, fractals. Look those up. Okay, I’m done talking about cool math stuff now. I probably ran through all of it, anyway, am I right?
Then, after covering these vast and universal themes of mortality and mathematics, the song ends by cryptically reperepeating “nighttime” followed by “Josh Dun” and “I’ll morph into someone else.” Woah.
This track was released ahead of the album and I knew it would be one of my favorites as soon as I heard it. After listening to the rest of the album, I’m not sure if anything beats it, but it’s definitely a close call. Tyler brings back his HeavyDirty falsetto vocals and takes them to the next level, with Dun’s drums setting a perfect backdrop to this masterpiece of a top song. This is the one that I find myself singing under my breath. It’s a hit, for sure.
Man, I love this song.
Smithereens is a love song with an experimentation of sounds and instruments, utilizing some sort of cartoon-y tropical sounds to accentuate the love-y lyrics that precede them. Let’s face it- it’s pretty. This is clearly another ode to Jenna, which is super sweet. Another deceptively negative sounding song that’s actually about love among all the other conspiratorial lyrics. Tyler makes his love fit into a world he created, he even sidesteps the overall thematic road of this song, but makes it work, for her. Lucky ducks to have found something so strong.
Fun Fact: Jenna is also in the Jumpsuit music video, so keep an eye out for her next time you watch!
I have to say, I was nervous about this one going in. I expect TØP’s work to make me sad or question existence, life, and everything, but with Neon Gravestones, I was more worried that it was about to get really emo. Like 2004 levels of emo. We lucked out with a song that could have fit in with their 2009 album, but also fits perfectly here. I guess that’s how timelessness works. The last verse hits me like a speeding bullet.
“Find your grandparents or someone of age.
Pay some respects for the path that they paved;
For life, they were dedicated.
Now that should be celebrated.”
Fun Factoid: I knew that the title of this song existed, but it didn’t occur to me until writing this that the other day, after decorating for Halloween, that my mom suggested painting some of the decorations with a neon border, so that they stand out. The decorations she was mentioning in particular were cardboard tombstones. Life.
You’ll be just fine!
Bringing back the uke! This song is like drinking cola out of a glass bottle while wearing well-worn jeans with reflecting lights pulsing serenely around, you know? Maybe at a bowling alley. This song reminds me of ska; there’s a happy beat and then lyrics with deeper meanings of maybe things suck, they often do, but it will be alright, even sans a horns section. We will dance and sing and it will be alright. Thank you, Twenty One Pilots. It will be. That’s what a lot of life is like: telling yourself that things will be alright and sometimes believing it. This song reminds us of how good it can be when you genuinely, really believe it, which is something you can’t force, but can come about at unexpected times. This song is an unexpected gift.
Gosh, it’s just so happy sounding that you want to use words like “gosh”!
Nico and the Niners
Ridiculously catchy and cryptic, this song helps to really define the world of Trench.
Cut My Lip
I understand why people don’t understand where I’m coming from sometimes and that they can’t relate; I’m a bit weird. That being said, there were multiple things on this album that spoke to me beyond the usual “Tyler Joseph is brilliant at bringing those feeling that you feel to words” [see: Neon Gravestones]. I have this vague joke that I like to take any song that uses the word “pride” and pretend that the lyrics intend to mean a group of lions.
I find this most amusing with songs like “These Days” and “She Loves You,” but there are some songs that it just doesn’t work with, such as Pride & Joy or Pride In The Name of Love, because the meaning is just to serious (I still think of lions, though). To stick with TØP, it works pretty well with Johnny Boy, but not so much with Truce. Picturing lions works really, really well with My Blood. I am so proud of them for this particular pun. So. Proud.
Plus, I always like the undertone of hope. It’s so beautiful and beautifully done.
Very soundscapey. This is the one I can really feel will be a hit to dance to at the concerts; it has that live feeling down. The build up, everything is brilliant. I almost wondered why they didn’t end with this, then I heard Leave the City. TØP constantly levels up. Statements like that are probably why Blurryface became so problematic, because complements have underlying high expectations, but that ended up great. They continue to meet and exceed expectations.
Sounds like what futuristic music from ‘90s movies sounds like mixed with a haunted houses backing track.
My pet cheetah’s name is Diana Prince, maybe she can be friends with Turkish? (Boom, a comic book and a movie reference. Now Deadicated will continue to let me write on here.)
This is funky! Where did that come from? You never know what to expect with TØP. This is the next step in the evolution of modern musicians trying to take on something soulful and maybe I’m just a sucker for the horns, but I dig it.
As a whole, it twists your heart strings and leaves you coming back for more. This song is a story in itself.
Leave the City
Piano heavy and classic. This is the kid of hope we need sometimes.
In time, I will leave the city. For now, I will stay alive.
It’s okay if you can’t do it today, just make sure you’ll be here for tomorrow, okay?
There’s a hypnotizing quality to the piano and vocals that delves right into your brain and you’ll let them. They say it will be okay. It will.
They know that it’s almost over.
This song just feels like Twenty One Pilots and nothing more needs to be said.
The music video for My Blood was also released today and it has ALL of the feelings. Sadness, elation, gaining strength from weird places, and, of course, confusion and more sadness. Tyler, what are you doing to us? The boy’s gonna be changing his last name to Durden any day now with the twists and turns he’s giving us.
This video is very unique compared to their others, which probably means… something that only they know. It is a good video, though. They almost even let it make sense!
I don’t want to be heard, I want to be listened to.
Plus, there’s a bit of Halloween fun in there, which is timely right now and that works perfectly. I got pumped up for Twenty One Pilots WHILE getting pumped up for Halloween: the dream.
They know what I mean.