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On Repeat: The Intoxicating Feeling of Twenty One Pilots

When I was twelve, I really started to get into music. I started feeling it more than hearing it – emotions I didn’t quite understand stirring in my chest, movement pulled from me by the chords and verses. I felt a connection to the artists I chose to put on, an invisible string tying them to me, tethered through relation. With that said, the first “alternative” band I got into was none other than Twenty One Pilots.

The Intoxicating Feeling of Twenty One Pilots – A Reflection

I used to have this app called Songza and that’s where I played my music from. On the app, there were playlists similar to Spotify that were sorted by genre or mood, resetting every day. I put one on shuffle, started cleaning my room, and let the music take me away.

The first song was “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots.

This was right after new years, but just before the song would take over popular culture and top charts, becoming a sleeper hit. I remember standing next to my desk, sorting through papers, and something gave that invisible string a great tug. My mind was tranquil, I was frozen in place and frozen in time, mesmerized by the bleak lyrics and pop-ish beat with alternative sensibilities. Something about it spoke to me in a voice I had never heard from another song.

I needed more.

This immediately turned into obsessing over Blurryface, Vessel, the band’s entire catalog. I listened to it until I memorized each and every word, collecting them like something precious.

And they were precious to twelve-year-old me, a gift of some kind. 

Eventually, one band was not enough. I started looking for more alternative bands that people spoke about online, leading me to bands that are still all-time favorites. 

Twenty One Pilots introduced me to a whole new world of musical experience. Their music caught me by the throat and dragged me along for a ride I’ve been happily on ever since. Now, I listen to all kinds of stuff: punk, emo, goth, metal. Anything alternative.

It has never stopped speaking to me. 

So naturally, when they announced a new album in 2024, I was ecstatic. 

Somewhere down the line, I had stopped listening to them. My appreciation for them was never diminished, but I found myself leaving them behind me as I grew older, like a worn blanket you sleep with every night since birth until you look at it one day and think, I don’t need this anymore, do I? and then move on to better things.

I hadn’t listened to the music they’ve done since Blurryface, and I didn’t plan to. But something about this album was different. I needed to hear them for the first time again – something old made new once more.

Turns out, they still hit the spot.

Clancy is transcendent. From the moment I pressed play while sitting in a coffee shop writing, I knew I needed more. Each track brought me back to my childhood in ways I can’t explain. It was familiar yet different; same old dog, but some new tricks.

The album ended.

I pressed play again.

The album has a consistently pleasing atmosphere; each song compliments the other, creating a sense of ease as they fade into one another. The lyrics on this album are unmatched. It’s full to the brim with quotable lines that I would seriously consider tattooing on myself if I was slightly less mentally stable. 

Clancy sees Twenty One Pilots at their best. Over the years, they have refined their sound, transforming their raw approach to music into a tasteful blend of hip hop, pop, and electronic music with an alternative flair. 

I will admit, since it came out last week, I have been listening to Clancy on an endless loop. Favorites include “Oldies Station” and “The Craving (Jenna’s version)”, which I think may be one of my favorites in their entire discography.

Nobody can write a love song like Tyler Joseph, and this one packs a punch.

Overall, I am so happy to have paid Twenty One Pilots a visit. I honestly can’t remember why I stopped listening to their stuff, but I’m making up for lost time by replaying Clancy habitually. Revisiting their music sounds like coming home. 

Keep up with Twenty One Pilots

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