Thursday, April 11, 2024

Twenty One Pilots drop genre-blending anthem ‘Next Semester’

Breaking their track record of notoriously cryptic announcements thus far - award-winning alternative duo Twenty One Pilots surprised their fans last month with the unexpected announcement of a new album and a world tour to follow.

‘Overcompensate’ - the pounding first single from ‘Clancy’ (to be released on May 17) - plunged audiences back into the layered lore that began with 2018 album ‘Trench’.

The band’s latest single, ‘Next Semester’, is a punk-inspired anthem that ponders the possibility of starting fresh whilst accepting the past.

Twenty One Pilots are known for their tendency to juxtapose typically dire lyrics with upbeat, happy melodies. ‘Next Semester’ fits the bill - making for a song that feels infectious and cathartic to sing along to, contending with an unalterable past while expressing hopes for a new beginning. The verses feel distinctly inspired by 2000s-era British indie, echoing the jolliness of cult classics such as The Wombats‘Lost in the Post’. This one will undoubtedly be a belter in a live set, with a dynamic, punk-infused chorus which is incredibly freeing to scream along to: “I prayed those lights would take me home / Then I heard, ‘Hey kid, get out of the road!’”. The gentle optimism and vulnerability of the song’s outro leaves listeners with the knowledge that they can wake up tomorrow and start completely anew.

The music video for ‘Next Semester’ features the band playing an intimate show to an electric, flailing crowd. Infused with intermittent cuts to frontman Tyler Joseph standing in the middle of a road, the video represents visceral memories seeping into the present: “I remember, I remember certain things / What I was wearing, the yellow dashes in the street”. Ending with Joseph walking out solemnly into the crowd while singing the refrain with a small guitar, the song evokes the comforting feelings of solidarity and community that have always been present across Twenty One Pilots’ discography.  

The duo’s new album ‘Clancy’ comes out on all major streaming platforms on 17 May. 

Lina Adams


Image: 'Clancy' Official Album Cover

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