It's been a little over three years since Twenty One Pilots released their fourth full-length album Blurryface in May 2015, and fans have been waiting patiently for the next project, picking up on any clues and hints they can to find out about what the duo has planned.
One of those clues arrived Friday morning (July 6), when the group broke its yearlong silence with an email sent to fans with the subject line “ARE YOU STILL SLEEPING?” Although we don't have an album title or release date, hard-core TOP fans, known as The Skeleton Clique, are predicting a summer release, meaning new music any day.
Here are a few things we're hoping for in the new album cycle:
1. Great lyrical content/commentary
Twenty One Pilots have always been able to take philosophical and emotional ideas, current events and social issues and weave them into their sound with lyrics that are deep but not so deep that fans would find themselves drowning in something they couldn't understand.
2. More genre-hopping
In the past, Twenty One Pilots have been known to genre-hop from track to track, blending various styles, including pop, reggae, rap and electronic, all in one album. In each and every album, there's an element that made it individually unique. The simplicity of Regional at Best, the emotional vulnerability expressed in Vessels, and the creative shift the band had in the studio during Blurryface has molded them into a chameleon whose albums are full of twists and turns. In an interview with Alternative Press, lead singer and pianist Tyler Joseph revealed that he'd been in the studio working on new ideas for music on tour. “I was working on something last night that I'm really excited about,” he said. “Right now I think it would be a little less uptempo than the last record. I would want to focus a little more on the lyrical content.”
3. A collaboration
Although TOP haven't worked with anyone in the past on an album — and many die-hard fans would be totally against it — the idea of featuring someone who shares their unique and precise perspective on music could add a whole new layer to an already dynamic band. Maybe labelmates Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco or Paramore's Hayley Williams?
4. Deep cut tracks
TOP has one of the strongest fanbases in alternative music. They even won the most dedicated fans award at the 2017 Journey’s Alternative Press Music Awards. In gratitude, the duo is constantly putting on intimate shows for their biggest supporters. It would be touching to see a couple tracks on the album for the Twenty One Pilots OGs, letting the fans know that their favorite band will always be there for them.
5. Another concept album
Blurryface followed the storyline of a character who shares a name with the record, and even introduces himself in smash hit “Stressed Out” (“My name is Blurryface and I care what you think”). Blurryface was widely received as a manifestation of Joseph's self doubts. It would be cool to see TOP continue that character's growth or maybe develop a new one altogether. Perhaps a persona that delves into political commentary is in order.