Band of the Week: Twenty One Pilots


About three months ago now, one of my roommates came to me and said, “YouTube ‘Twenty One Pilots – Car Radio’ and tell me what you think.”

I normally am hesitant on YouTubing random bands because I like to be the first one to hear a band (I’ve gotten much better in these three short months about this – believe me).  But I had just finished homework and had nothing to do so I obliged and YouTubed ‘Twenty One Pilots – Car Radio.’  I am so glad I YouTubed them.

Twenty One Pilots consists of just two members – Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun – and they can see into my soul, and read my mind without even meeting me.  In many of their songs, Joseph so eloquently ‘raps’ out poetry that is so pleasant sounding, while Dun keeps the beat lively, or slowly intense, depending on the situation of the song.  Joseph doesn’t only do the vocals, but also plays piano, keytar, synthesizer, and the ukulele.  He plays the emotional member, while Dun keeps everything going with the rhythm of his drum beats.

Josh Dun and Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots in one of their promo photos found on their website.

Josh Dun and Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots in one of their promo photos found on their website.

I stated a few sentences ago that Joseph ‘raps’ when in reality it is much more powerful and beautiful to be described as rap – there’s nothing wrong with rap, but these lyrics aren’t ‘rapped’ at all – it’s truly art. The duo focuses on meaningful lyrics, and unusual, but catchy, sounds that complement each other wonderfully.  Twenty One Pilots occasionally scream, though not blood-curdling screams like death metal bands, and it’s a visceral feeling.

My favorite song by them is ‘Car Radio,’ but I love everything else by them because, unlike most instantly popular musicians, their music has meaning, and it truly makes you think and feel something even when you think you can’t feel anymore.  Powerful music.  I really want to see this group in concert, and you should want to, too!

Twenty One Pilots in action at their first NYC show at Webster Hall. Photo by Amy Willard - www.amywillard.com

Twenty One Pilots in action at their first NYC show at Webster Hall. Photo by Amy Willard – http://www.amywillard.com

One last bit about the duo.  My favorite line from the group is from their song ‘Holding On to You’ where Joseph uses lyrics from a once popular song and adds his take to it:

Lean with it, rock with it,
When we gonna stop with it,
Lyrics that mean nothing, we were gifted with thought,
Is it time to move our feet to an introspective beat,
It ain’t the speakers that bump hearts, it’s our hearts that make the beat.

Love it.

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