Twenty One Pilots’ new album “Trench,” tells an incredible artistic story created by the band themselves, Tyler Joseph and Joshua Dun. The boys first introduced the new album in July of 2018 with the release of “Jumpsuit” and “Nico and The Niners”. The songs released were then followed by a music video release for “Jumpsuit”. That is when the storytelling began. I created an article when the music video came out that went over any and every detail the band gave us, and the fans found. But the main theme of this album is defeating Blurryface. While their 2015 hit album “Blurryface” recognized the character, which symbolizes Tyler’s insecurities, “Trenches” focuses more on defeating Blurryface.
Key details that give the theme away includes the color yellow, Tyler’s jumpsuit and the Man who is referenced to Nico. Twenty One Pilots start the album with “Jumpsuit” which is the main song used to release the themes content.
The album then flows into “Levitate” which has a different sound than “Jumpsuit” it shows Tyler’s rapping ability and discusses various topics like vultures and cowards. The song can be seen in many ways but it sounds like a warning or a lesson. Tyler sings about how he can levitate and you can as well, but to do things like “keep your wooden wedge under doors” and to “sleep in a well-lit room, don’t let the shadows through”. Tyler is trying to protect his listeners from the bad things lurking in the world.
It then goes into the next song “Morph”. “Morph” first sounds like a song from “Blurryface”. Full of insecurities and second-guessing “Can’t stop thinkin’ about if and when I die, for now, I see that “if” and “when” are truly different cries”. But towards the middle of the song, Tyler starts to transfer over to a reinvented train of thought. He isn’t thinking in a positive light, but he created a coping mechanism. He describes this in the chorus by saying “If I keep on movin’ they won’t know, I’ll morph to someone else, what they throw to me’s too slow, I’ll morph to someone else, I’m just a ghost, I’ll morph to someone else a defense mechanism”. Tyler is learning to try new things rather than hiding and cowering in the corner, the song even mentions Nico again. Nico is a prominent character in the new theme of Twenty One Pilots. But we do not know exactly who he is. The song itself is unlike traditional Twenty One Pilots but it still sounds good, they include interesting instruments like the trumpet and Tyler sings at a higher pitch.
The album then takes another artistic turn into “My Blood” the sound of this song is not typical of the band at all. It has an electric pop feel to it and includes a prominent bass guitar. Tyler also keeps a high pitch throughout the song that matches perfectly. The song is about how Tyler will always be here, this can be a message to the fans or even a loved one of Tyler’s. He sings “When everyone you thought you knew deserts your fight, I’ll go with you. You’re facin’ down a dark hall I’ll grab my light and go with you.” Tyler continues to encourage his listeners to keep their heads up and carry one. This song is a personal favorite because of the encouragement and the upbeat sound.
The next song “Chlorine” does not seem to correlate to the theme but it still has a personal feel to it just like “My Blood” but it focuses more on self-destruction, Tyler seems to know what he’s doing is bad for him but he continues to do what he is doing, like “sipping on straight chlorine” and referring to it as “poison” several times throughout the song.
“Smithereens” is a song for Jenna, his wife. Similar to “Tear In My Heart” from “Blurryface”. Tyler sings in a soft tone which is different compared to the rest of the album. He says he’d do several things for Jenna like “step to a dude much bigger than me”. The song itself is a calm love song.
The theme immediately comes back with the next song, “Neon Gravestones” the song itself is slow and lyrically based, there is a simple piano playing in the background so the focus is on the lyrics, Tyler sings about reinventing society. He says things like “Don’t get me wrong, the rise in awareness is beating a stigma, that no longer scares us”. And “I’m not disrespecting what was left behind, just pleading that it does not get glorified”. This song is used as a public service announcement to the future society to reinvent what was given, even when Tyler, Josh, and Twenty One Pilots is gone.
After a deep and meaningful song, Twenty One Pilots brings back the uplifting beat with “The Hype” this song sounds like an end credit to a movie, a happy ending to something. This song is similar to “My Blood”. It is used as a message to keep moving forward and there is always a way out, “I don’t know which way I’m going, but I can hear my way around”. The song even features their famous ukulele.
Nico and The Niners
The theme of the new era becomes heavy again as “Nico and The Niners” plays next. The song talks about Dema and makes references to “them” which signifies Nico and the Niners. Nico and the Niners are said to be bishops keeping people captive, and the point of the new era is to save these people.
Cut My Lip
“Cut My Lip” has a rough feel to it, the bass guitar is prominent again while Tyler talks about how he is injured but will continue to move forward. “Though I am bruised, face of contusions, Know I’ll keep movin’ But I am a bruised face of contusion”. The bruises can symbolize many things, physical or mental no matter what it is, Tyler continues to move forward which is a positive example for everyone.
“Bandito” is another slow song with back up vocals similar to Blurryfaces’ character. This song is another personal song for Tyler, it is almost like a look into his head to see what he thinks. “I created this world to feel some control, destroy it if I want, so I sing sorrow, falling on sorrow, falling on sorrow”. At the end of the song, the beat picks up, as if Tyler finally beat himself after talking too negatively and created some self-realization.
Similar to “Bandito”, “Pet Cheeta” is another look into Tyler’s head. He talks about a pet cheetah, being paranoid and wanting to stay in his room, there are points in the song when Tyler gets aggressive which is a sign of frustration, he doesn’t want to be how he is but he does not know what to do, so he says “I’ll sit here til I find the problem”.
The next song “Legend” is completely different, it starts with a keyboard and Tyler singing at a high pitch. It also features the famous ukulele on top of Josh’s drums. It is unclear who Tyler is talking about, but it could be several people. Maybe a past relative, Josh, Jenna or one of his parents or siblings. The song has an overview of positivity and talking about past events, Tyler sings at the end “In the day that it happened I recorded this last bit I look forward to having a lunch with you again.”
Leave the City
The last and final song off of “Trench” by Twenty One Pilots is “Leave the City”. The song is a perfect final song, it acts as a cliffhanger. The city can represent many things, but following the new era, the city is the new Blurryface. Tyler says “In time I will leave the city, for now, I will stay alive”. And also refers to “they” several times but “they” is not defined. Going back to “Nico and The Niners”, that song also refers to subjects as “they”. This song can be like a part two to “Nico and The Niners” and sticks with the theme of defeating Blurryface, while this hasn’t happened yet, they are making progress to demolish Tyler’s insecurities with the help of Jenna, Josh, and the clique.