It's been a year since twenty one pilots went quiet after wrapping up their Blurryface tour, and until the last month or so it's been near radio silence from them. They're back in a big way, however, with brand new songs, a brand new album, and a tour. twenty one pilots return with two new tracks, 'Jumpsuit' and 'Nico and The Niners.'
'Jumpsuit' is the single of the two, and understandably so. Everything about the track feels intrinsically like them, with a new modern touch to it, as well. The music video begins where they last left off: at the fiery wreck of the car from the 'Heavydirtysoul' music video. Tyler Joseph hops on the car and ominously says, "We've been here the whole time. You've been asleep. Time to wake up" before the song kicks in with a brooding synth and effected vocal as a thick bass line and pounding drums delivered by Josh Dun come in to add the drive. The song itself has that signature TØP insecurity, Joseph gently chanting "Spirits in my room, friend or foe / Felt it in my youth, feel it when I'm old." The chaos of the chorus builds creepily as modulated vocals and building drums surround Joseph's cries, "I can't believe how much I hate / Pressures of a new place roll my way / Jumpsuit, jumpsuit, cover me."
The bridge becomes completely stripped down, Joseph meeting a bishop (who may be the physical representation of Blurryface) in the canyon he'd been walking through. It's almost like a moment of elation, Joseph solemnly singing "I'll be right there / But you'll have to grab my throat and lift me in the air / If you need anyone, I'll stop my plans / But you'll have to tie me down and then break both my hands." Tyler seems to submit to Blurryface again, before the watchers come and throw yellow flower petals down and he takes himself back, the instrumental building as he screams "Jumpsuit, jumpsuit, cover me." This appears to be Tyler (or Clancy's) final escape from Blurryface, the video climaxing just as the song does, though the video ends with Dun silently watching over Joseph from the top of the cliff.
'Nico and The Niners' is a more chilled track, but still brings out all the stops. While 'Jumpsuit' felt more like a modern twist of a mashup of 'Heathens' and 'Car Radio,' 'Nico and The Niners' is more an expansion of the band's reggae vibe they've explored in 'Ride.' It has that dejected rebellion vibe, though the lyrics dig deeper into the band's new lore: referencing Dema, the jumpsuit, and Nico. The chill instrumental lets Joseph's vocals tell the story of Dema and Clancy. The vocal production bounces between a high pitched vocoder and a low pitched one, the song's bridge reversing those sounds as Joseph rolls straight into a rapped verse. The song's production is incredibly solid, and though it's not the most energetic, it definitely does a great job of telling the story and showing off the band's new skills.
This comeback has been a long-time coming, but it's been well worth the wait. twenty one pilots return with two new tracks 'Jumpsuit' and 'Nico and The Niners' which both explore completely different sounds but keep it close to heart. Their new album Trench is out on October 5 - be sure to stick around for our review of it when it drops.
'Jumpsuit' Rating: 93 / 100
Video Rating: 90 / 100
'Nico and The Niners' Rating: 89 / 100
Stream or buy 'Jumpsuit' and 'Nico and The Niners' on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: