‘Clancy’ Is an Amalgamation of Every Iteration of Twenty One Pilots

You’ve read the title, now let us explain.

Building blocks are nothing new to the musical world of twenty one pilots. In fact, one could argue that every record the band puts out is in some ways a sonic sequel to the last. Never before has an album of theirs taken shape from not just the album before it, but the entire discography that led up to the sights and sounds of this moment – Clancy‘s moment.

Alt rock, bedroom pop, garage rock, emo rap, lo-fi pop, indie rock – the blend of rock’n’roll musicianship, subtle hip-hop direction, and pop-stylized atmosphere is all-encompassing. Clancy takes risks, but nothing over-the-top for longtime fans. You can hear inklings of everything – Blurryface narratives, Scaled and Icy synths, Trench romanticism, the homegrown production of their self-titled, and the ear-worm melodies of Vessel. It’s real and raw, returning to the roots of what have always made Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun the most mainstream and accessible musical scientists of our time.

Clancy, which is the duo’s seventh studio LP, is as light and float-y as it is energetic. (Hi, “Lavish.”) However, the energy laced into the songs leaves room for the dynamic exploration of on-stage antics – IE: world-building production around the detailed lyrics, something in the vein of a jam session, and expanded intros and outros. Twenty One Pilots never stay in one lane, so the way this LP grabs onto notable styles from each previous release makes it more honest and connecting than those others. This is an album that is about engagement. Joseph and Dun are engaging with each other instrumentally, they are both engaging with the albums they made over the last 10+ years, the music has a catch-and-release to it that engages the listeners, and the fans are ready for the band to engage with them on their forthcoming world tour.

“Vignette,” “Midwest Indigo,” and beloved single “Overcompensate” are notable favorites of ours after the first few days of Clancy being officially out in the world. “Lavish” is the most radio-ready, and “The Craving (Jenna’s Version)” is just magic. (Watch the video for this album version/Jenna version of the song and try not to tear up.) While we have to admit that the album doesn’t have a succinct flow to it, every song stands tall on its own. This is growing increasingly true as more and more visual components are released. A music video and performance video for the entire tracklist? We’ll never say no to that, even if it slightly disrupts the order of sonic events, but, hey – what’s TØP without taking a ride on a rollercoaster of emotions upon a new album effortlessly being put on shuffle?