Twenty One Pilots is a relatively new musical duo from Columbus, Ohio, and consists of two wildly unique males: Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun. Joseph is the frontman taking care of the singing, piano-playing and the sound synthesizer. Dun is the very talented drummer. The two of them formed back in 2009, starting out by self-releasing their albums, Twenty One Pilots and Regional at Best. These self-released albums were the key to getting the 26-year-olds to where they are today.
The band first got noticed by a major label in late 2012 after they played their first sold-out show at the LC Pavilion in their hometown. It was soon after that they were signed by Fueled by Ramen, which is when their musical careers blossomed. In early 2013, their most recent album, Vessel, was released.
Vessel is unlike any other album I have heard, which is what makes it my favourite. What gives Twenty One Pilots their unique vibe is the idea that they are not restricted to one genre. Vessel holds 12 songs, six of which are new and six of which have been re-vamped from their previous self-released albums. Within these 12 tracks there are many genres portrayed and a variety of deep, meaningful topics discussed that we do not see in mainstream music.
Joseph and Dun have a confidence about them that allows them to express their true colours and emotions to the world. The two wrote this album unsure of what the outcome would be. Throughout the process, though, they had high hopes that writing music that hit close to home for them would give their audience something to relate to. In an interview, Joseph said when he writes music, he writes about topics that he wishes other artists would write about. That just goes to show that there is really no similar album in the music industry like Vessel.
Joseph went the extra mile for the bands fan base and posted a video on YouTube in 2013 – titled “Twenty One Pilots: Vessel Track by Track Comm” – explaining the meaning of the lyrics for each track on Vessel. This video shows a raw emotion about Joseph and really allows viewers to see that he truly is an inspiration.
In the video, he goes on to explain the meaning of the album name as well. He speaks of the inevitability of death. With that, he comes to the realization of his own life. “I have a body, I have a life, I have a voice. It’s kind of a vessel that really kind of holds something.” Although he believes that none of these things are important, he states that the message inside the vessel is what is important. Twenty One Pilots have a message. They use the term ‘vessel’ metaphorically for their album. Through their album Vessel¸ they share their messages in hopes to inspire and encourage people.
As for the lyrics on the album, it’s as if Joseph is singing poetry to us. Sometimes it’s hard for people to say exactly what they are feeling, but through the metaphors within the lyrics, Joseph makes it easy for people to fully grasp the concepts of the songs and allow them to become one with the music. The album deals with some hard-hitting issues, such as loneliness, suicide, choices of right and wrong, being true to who you are, and finding the good in the bad. These are all issues that people struggle to deal with every day, and they are portrayed through Vessel.
With their extremely unique sound – from indie rock to an upbeat melody within a single song – Twenty One Pilots is able to unify people through their music and lyrics, giving them a feeling of belonging and letting them know that they are not alone.
For more on Twenty One Pilots, visit www.twentyonepilots.com.