Hola everyone.


Looks like we’ve come to another Friday, huh? How has your week been? I hope it’s been great. I’m honestly really looking forward to the weekend. And believe it or not, but while I’m writing this, I’m actually sat outside, at the beach. The weather has been close to perfect the past days and it kind of feels like the summer is having a little comeback here in Brighton. And oh yes, I’m more than loving this.

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But besides the weekend, there’s something special that I’m even more looking forward to. The music lovers among you, who’ve read the title of this post, will probably already know what I’m about to talk to you guys about. Yes, I have the absolute honor of discussing the hot and new album Trench by the one and only Twenty One Pilots. God, I can’t even begin to tell you how long I’ve been waiting to finally say this. Long. But as the clock struck 12 tonight, the world was blessed with this new album. And I’m not just saying this because I’m a fan of Tyler and Josh and their amazing music. No. I’m saying this because those 14 songs on that album are freaking masterpieces. The whole album is a masterpiece. Welcome to Trench.

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So, let’s start right at the beginning. Trench is the fifth album by Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, better known as the band Twenty One Pilots. To be honest, when I heard that they were finally releasing a new album, after their one year long hiatus, I went nuts. You know, TOP aren’t just a band. They are special. Like really special. I’m just gonna go and say that I do know and listen to a lot of bands from different genres. But TOP are on another level, their music isn’t like anything I’ve ever heard before. A statement that became even more true when I heard their very first single Jumpsuit, then Nico and the Niners, Levitate and My Blood. And even more when I got to understand the meaning behind all of these songs. If you want to check out my review of them, where I explain the whole story of Dema and Clancy and what’s it all got to do with a jumpsuit, please click here.

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Personally, after listening to those four songs and now the album, I’d say that we’ve all just got to witness TOP moving on to another level and another era. Not just because of the story, but also from the musical point of view. Because on the one hand, Trench gives us the typical sound of TOP that we all love so much, but on the other hand it’s a complete change and surprise. It’s still schizophrenia pop – yep, that’s their own genre, created just for them – but also very different. It’s a total rollercoaster, from start to finish. Genres change within the songs and between them. The rhythms seem very soulful, sometimes even moving towards RnB. There are breathtaking rap parts, followed by tear-jerking violin lines and lyrics that tell you nothing but the truth if you just listen to them closely. That’s what I’ve always loved about TOP and Tyler’s writing – he doesn’t hide anything, he just doesn’t make it too obvious.

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But what exactly is Trench? Well, that’s a question that’s not easy to answer – like with most things when it comes to TOP and their music. After researching for hours and hours and listening to and reading the lyrics, I’d say that Trench is far more than just a story about an imaginary city called Dema and a trapped guy called Clancy. At the end, the album is about Tyler and Tyler only. About his ongoing fight with depression and anxiety (Morph), about suicidal thoughts (Chlorine, Cut My Lip), about the death of his grandfather (Legend), his love for his wife Jenna (Smithereens), his struggles as an artist and writer (Pet Cheetah) and about his relationship with the clique, their fanbase (The Hype, Leave the City). Once you look over those mostly cryptic lyrics and acknowledge the deeper meaning of them all, this album becomes a really personal one. This is also why while listening to it for the very first time, I didn’t know what to do with myself as soon as it ended. I had so many different emotions trapped inside me. I felt happy and sad, broken and mended, conflicted and ecstatic. And there were still tears glistening in my eyes, both happy and sad ones. And even after all these hours that have passed since, I still can’t fully get my head around it. It’s just too much. But in the best way ever.

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Looking at the songs themselves, I kind of feel it’s really hard to split them from another. They just fit so perfectly and carry the story of the album like a red thread, that it becomes especially impossible to chose a few favorites. I can just tell you which songs had the biggest impact on me during the very first listen: Jumpsuit, My Blood, Neon Gravestones, Bandito, Legend and Leave The City. Some of these got me because of the lyrics, some due to the huge surprise of musical changes. But all of them are amazing. As are the rest, of course.

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I would actually love to discuss every single song with you guys, especially as I literally googled and kind of analyzed every single one, but that would turn this post into a never ending one. Due to this, I’d just like to stick to most of the songs that I stated above and kind of go through all of their meanings.

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Jumpsuit

I’ll never forget the very first time I listened to this and watched the video for it. It blew me away. As some of you may know and also as I’ve mentioned right at the beginning of this post, I’ve already analyzed this one, so please click here to find out more about the mind-blowing story behind this song and its followers.

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Neon Gravestones

This is the one song that actually struck me because of how true and direct the lyrics are. The song starts off with a calm piano rhythm and then goes into the more upbeat drums by Josh, followed by an amazing rap by Tyler about suicide and how society nowadays glorifies those who end their lives. He especially addresses artists who end up being never forgotten because they ended their lives at the peak of their career. They are the ones who have their names in neon lights, which then become neon gravestones, once they die (“I could go out with a bang”). Tyler then continues talking about his own death and that he doesn’t want us to remember him because of his death, but because of his life. The song then both peaks and ends with a powerful, rhythmic rap about how we should rather glorify life and celebrate those who spent their time living it, for example grandparents (this part especially gets a far greater meaning once you get to Legend and find out what’s it about).

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Bandito

Do you know this feeling when you listen to a song and you never want it to stop? Ever? Because that’s what happened to me whole listening to this. Bandito starts off with a distant beat that kind of resembles the noise of a heart rate monitor. Later on, during the chorus, the rhythm moves up a bit while still retaining the slowness of the beginning. And then Sahlo Folina comes. Those are the two words that act as a guide that moves you towards the second, more upbeat half of the song. What makes this song stand out for me are those exact parts when Tyler creates his own choir by singer Sahlo Folina over and over again, while the drums in the background become faster and faster and draw you into them. I couldn’t help myself but feel my heart beat faster with every second that went by. But what’s the meaning of the song? Honestly, yes, they lyrics are indeed as cryptic as you would think, but as always the clique is better than the whole FBI team out there. From what I could find the song actually is about Tyler and Josh and their lives between the Blurryface era and the Trench era. But even more so, the song is about Tyler being trapped in Dema and creating Trench to feel some sort of control. It’s about his creative life, which also connects to the translation of Sahlo Folina that I found on Reddit:

In Banditos the line “Sahlo Folina” appears several times. I’ve seen several people think this is something backwards, but it actually has its own meaning. “Sahlo” means to enable in Somali. Folina is a name and according to a name website I found, it means this: “Your name of Folina has made you happiest when you are expressing in some creative, artistic way, and not conforming to strict routine”. So “Sahlo Folina” means to enable expressive creations. This makes a lot of sense considering the next verse is all about his ability to create the world of Trench.

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Legend

Don’t be surprised, but this is actually the only song on the album besides Smithereens that really has a happy sound to it. It has got it all – a light beat, a dreamy ukulele in the background and Tyler’s raw voice. Naturally, you would expect to be happy while listening to this, right? But nope. Because once you listen to the lyrics, you can say straight up bye to your makeup (if it’s still intact), because here they come, the tears. For me, this song is the saddest one. I mean, most of them have a deep, sad meaning to them, but Legend literally crushed my heart. Because this one is about Tyler’s grandfather and his death. We get to hear the story of how he got Alzheimer’s and how Tyler couldn’t really cope with it. And how he got to hear the beginning of the song, but not the end, because it took too long. And how his niece will never get to meet him. While listening to the song, I kind of felt like I was a part of Tyler’s life. And honestly, I just wanted to give him a hug.

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Leave The City

This is the last song of the album and for me, also the perfect finale. And while listening to it, you can actually feel Tyler and Josh thinking the same. The song isn’t the last song just because. It has to be there. Not just because it’s a musical masterpiece, with extremely soft vocals and a slow beat that wraps itself around you like a blanket. It’s there because of its meaning. The city, Dema, isn’t just a city, but represents Tyler’s anxieties and depression. As we know from songs like Jumpsuit and Nico and the Niners, Clancy aka Tyler is fighting to break out of the city, he wants to leave it. And this is the point this song describes. Tyler is finally coming to terms with his mental health problems and knows that he will be strong enough to overcome them at some part of his life, but for now he wants to focus on staying alive. It is once again an ode to the fans, the faces facing him, as he stays in this safe space that is Trench, together with them, and although he’s far from home he’s not alone. This thought is underlined at the very end of the song, which finishes with the lyrics “they know what I mean” (they = the clique) and also the same chord as the one in Truce. Overall, it feels like one of the most dedicated and emotional songs of the album, that resonates with you long after it’s over.

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For me, those very meanings turn Trench into such a special album. When I heard that TOP were making a new album, I knew we would get something new, but I for sure wasn’t expecting this. And I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am of these two guys. It isn’t just the breathtakingly amazing production (well done Tyler and Paul Meany) or the astonishing lyrics, it’s the overall package. In the words of my mum, this album doesn’t just feel like an album, it feels like a book, like a story. And yes, it is a story. It’s the story of Tyler and Josh and the clique altogether. Ultimately, Trench isn’t a city or a place, it’s us. We are Trench. We are Twenty One Pilots.


So guys, there you go. I know this has ended in being quite a lengthy post, but honestly, I could’ve said so much more. I just really wanted to share it all with you guys, even more because this band and the album mean quite a lot to me. And I really, really hope that you enjoy this album too and of course this post. I will leave the spotify link down below, so you can have a listen for yourself. As always, please don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts down below, please do tell me what you think about it. And until then I wish you all an amazing weekend and hope you’re all doing alright. And, of course, thanks for reading. x

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Posted by:Laura

2 replies on “This is Trench

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