Twenty One Pilots returns with underwhelming new single

Ever since Twenty One Pilots’ (TOP) release of “Trench” in 2018, they seem to have lingered under the radar. Even with their 2021 release of “Scaled and Icy,” it didn’t compare to the pure power of “Trench” and the story that comes along with it. I will never forget seeing them live in Philadelphia with a flaming car on the stage and beautiful visuals bouncing around the screens.

Now, they’ve returned with the single “Overcompensate.” With cover art featuring a marbled mash of red — that represents 2015’s “Blurryface” — and yellow, representing “Trench,” they certainly seem to be hyping up some exciting project. In addition to this, looking at the albums on their Spotify page, what resembles a red piece of tape is noticeably covering parts of their album covers, adding to the intrigue of a potential new story. 

“Overcompensate” begins with a slow piano that switches rapidly to a beat ramping up to a drop, as well as the voice of people speaking in French in the background. Then, to excite fans, a deep, booming voice declares “welcome back to Trench.” 

There are plenty of references to other songs, including the line “so I sing, ‘Sahlo Folina / Sahlo Folina,’” a phrase repeated in the track “Bandito” from “Trench.” The way this part of the song is echoed behind the instrumentals gives off the vibe of someone trying to navigate their thoughts or memories. Put simply, it’s a perfect way to plant a seed of anticipation of the new album in fans. 

This is a first glimpse into the new album “Clancy,” to be released on March 17. The song consists of some of lead vocalist Tyler Joseph’s classic rapping as he contemplates existence. My favorite lines in this song are “days feel like the perfect length / I don’t need ’em any longer, / but for goodness’ sake / do the years seem way too short / for my soul, corazón?” 

I get how he’s feeling, with this weird notion that the days seemingly drag on yet we are already in March of 2024, when it feels like the year just started a week ago. 

TOP did a great job releasing this single, as it has me interested in the album that is to come. However, it seems that this track lacks something. It has the references, it has the hype, but does it have the emotion that TOP’s songs are known for? I felt like it was missing that vital component, like they were almost there, but not quite. 

Hopefully, once the rest of the album is released, my concerns will disappear. Until then, I’m eager to see what’s to come.


2/5 stars


Featured photo courtesy of @twentyonepiolets, Instagram