“twenty one pilots,” a two man band known for their strange usage of capitalization, themes that reach college kids and their genre bent music, newest album starts off with a bang. Heading their title song, “Jumpsuit” that is quite enjoyable.
The video is a creative one. It opens with the lead singer, Tyler Joseph, on a burning car, and the scenes jump between that and him walking in a canyon surrounded by people in jumpsuits and masks. Then, the singer is drawn into following a man wearing a red cape on a white horse. People above him start throwing petals and it wakes the singer from his trance then he starts running away.
The lyrics reflect this symbolism, speaking about the singer hating the pressure of being in a new place and how he hopes his jumpsuit will make him feel safe. I think most students can relate to this, especially those moving away from home for the first time. Students are looking for a safe place to be themselves and the pressure of a new place, such as college, can sometimes feel like too much.
I believe this is a familiar feeling for students, as we sometimes are desperate for any sort of protection. Students could also relate to their next song, “Levitate,” which continues the video of “Jumpsuit.” This song has a little more rap and the lyrics are very inspirational and deep. They remind me of Eminem a little bit, except twenty one pilots skips the profanity.
Joseph continues to accompany the petal throwers. He arrives at their village and they shave his head, giving him new clothes matching theirs. They celebrate him joining the tribe, however, the man in the red cape comes back and drags the singer away again. The parallel between this imagery and the experience of coming to a new school and becoming indoctrinated with school spirit is all too similar.
Students can relate to coming to a new place and, hopefully, making new friends, but sometimes the pressures of school and life weighs so heavily it feels like every step forward sees you being dragged back. “My Blood” is another noteworthy song from the album and has a very heartfelt and interesting video. As we come to college we begin to realize that our heroes are a little less hero-esque and we must look to ourselves for answers and for comfort. This theme is clear in “My Blood.”
In the music video, a little boy watches his mom in a hospital bed and the family learns she isn’t going to make it. The boy is comforted by an older brother who takes him away from the room so the mother can rest. The older brother protects the younger one in snapshots, helping him with homework, his social life and even getting him to live a little on the edge. Towards the end, bullies come and start beating the older brother, so the younger brother steps in and saves him. Suddenly, the older brother disappears and it turns out he was never there; the kid had done everything himself.
The lyrics are about staying with the kid, almost like his mother was watching out for him by giving him an imaginary big brother. Like the child, we, as students of ESU, must be the heroes of our own stories.