Ahead of their forthcoming, sixth album Scaled and Icy, twenty one pilots have dropped two singles. Following up the chart-topping surprise “Shy Away” is the brand new “Choker” – out now.
Diving Headfirst Into twenty one pilots’ New Era
As infectious as ever, “Choker” wonderfully follows up the melodic, synth-based stylings of “Shy Away.” 2021 has been made complete by twenty one pilots’ return to music. Their second single just dropped ahead of their upcoming album, Scaled and Icy, which is out on May 21.
Like the fun, bouncy “Shy Away,” “Choker” is a rhythmic tune that is bubbling and dynamic. The lyrical content is deeper than the instrumentation and beats that back it. “Choking on the circumstance, self sabotage is a sweet romance. Seems like all I’m worth is what I’m able to withstand. Sooner I can realize that pain is just the middleman,” Tyler Joseph’s voice twinkles with emotion above uptempo, ticking drums played by Josh Dun.
As Joseph reflects on how addicting it can be to romanticize self-inflicted pain, he is also able to realize that he can move on. Personal growth takes time and he no longer wants to fall prey to his negative shadow. This plays right into the concluding verse of the new twenty one pilots song. “As a shadow cast above the ground where you’ll eventually lay forever, but as the day goes on, the sun moves behind you. You get taller, bolder, stronger, and the rearview only blinds you.”
It’s All In The Magic
As a duo, Josh Dun and Tyler Joseph are never one to ignore the mythical and magical. If anything, they welcome fantasy and adore using their music to explore whimsical artistic endeavors. Their last album, Trench, featured their fictional, but oh-so enchanting alien friend, Ned. Ned debuted as part of the video for their No. 1 single, “Chlorine.” The chubby creature has big eyes, a shy smile, and two pointed horns. Joseph drew and animated himself, which added another level of personality and imagination to the song.
The Scaled and Icy era of the alternative band is faring no differently. This, too, has an element of fantasy and fun that further draws people in.
Dun is operating a vintage corner store with an eclectic array of toys and memorabilia. Joseph is browsing, which may seem boring on the surface, but quickly becomes exciting thanks to some magic. Dun’s real-life dog, Jim Dun, is a special guest at the store and in the video. Donning a blue bandana, Joseph takes notice of him. Later, when he disappears, the singer sees a shrunken figurine of Jim Dun in a glass case. Was the dog ever there? Was he a toy brought to life? Those are some supernatural questions for twenty one pilots fans to think about.
In addition to a cute, mythical cameo from the drummer’s pet, there are a ton of Easter eggs in the video. There is a DEMA mug on a shelf, which references the fictional city developed by the twenty one pilots guys back in 2017. As well, the window display features none other than Trench’s best, otherworldly friend, Ned. All of this is in the video in a subtle manner as the bandmates battle in a larger-than-life way. Without spoiling too much, it’s a magical battle filled with live music, toys, and “Choker” lyrics. A true must-see for fans and a definite must-life for alternative music lovers.