By: Brenna Mata
Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, Twenty One Pilots have proved time and time again that their sound is vastly unique against their industry peers. From their classic sophomore release Vessel to their freshly produced Scaled and Icy, these tunes will have you dancing, crying, and screaming. Here’s our top 10 songs we sliced out. (Add this playlist to your Spotify library here!)
10. Lane Boy
This top 10 list took two things into consideration: live performance and the “headphone experience.” Perhaps one of the most hype songs you’ll ever see TØP play live is Lane Boy from their triple platinum record Blurryface. There’s Tyler’s intense rapping, Josh’s thrilling drum solo, crazy pyrotechnics, and the epic crowd moment when everyone gets low and rages to the beat drop. 10/10 could jam out to this at a show or in the car.
9. Taxi Cab
Tyler works his piano and songwriting magic here — a Twenty One Pilots special. From their self-titled album released in 2009, this track really uncovers the band’s roots. It’s also very rare that they perform these songs to date but fans were given a treat when Taxi Cab was added to the set list on their fall 2019 Bandito Tour. I saw it in the flesh myself, truly a beautiful moment.
Another Twenty One Pilots specialty lies within this tune that gets us bumping our heads and crying at the same time. Hailing from their 2018 release Trench, Chlorine’s production was impressively progressive for their sound thanks to their former tour mate Paul Meany of Mutemath. The pianos are beautifully arranged and the bridge will have you crying a river because of Tyler’s heavy emotions. Also, how could we forget this was the song that gave us our furry friend Ned.
7. Shy Away
The band really did a 180 with this year’s album drop of Scaled and Icy. Shy Away was the first release to this new era filled of blue and pink colors and Trash the dragon. A lot of fans will tell you it’s a pop song, but why put it into a box? It’s just simply a fun song. I enjoy many genres and hearing bands switch up their sound is just so refreshing. Shy Away is guaranteed to be stuck in your head all day but in the best way possible.
6. The Hype
I feel like a lot of people might slightly disagree that this song is on the list but guess what? I don’t care and here’s why. The Hype is simply underrated. Having heard it live and blasted in the car, this song is like taking a shot of serotonin. It represents the ideas of hope and unity amidst this journey of life. The ending is also triumphant with an orchestra of strings, reminding me a bit of Bittersweet Symphony. Don’t believe the hype? Then listen to it!
“Gangstas don’t cry therefore, therefore I’m, mister misty-eyed, therefore I’m.” What I love most about this opening track from Blurryface is the momentum it holds, especially during a live show. It’s alt-rock at its finest. Filled with rapping that you can’t keep up with, an exquisite drum pattern, and Tyler with his good ol’ tamborine. The yearning lyrics feed the “soul” in the form of full-fledged energy.
Before I get too emo thinking about this song there’s one thing you should know: You will cry too. This is the band’s send off song for every show the past 10+ years of performing and it will forever be a fan favorite for the passion it holds and how could we forget the confetti party. To put it in one word, Trees is bittersweet in the fact that the song ends “Hello, hello, hello” when really it’s goodbye (but not forever)!
3. Addict With A Pen
Lyrically speaking this is probably the greatest written song in the entire Twenty One Pilots discography. You can explicitly hear the pain in Tyler’s voice as he begs for forgiveness to his creator. Yes, you heard correctly, this is an almost sugar-coated religious song but Tyler would tell you that it’s open to however you interpret it. Whatever the case is, Addict With A Pen is a beautiful song that will hold through out the band’s time together as one of their best.
2. Car Radio
I first heard this TØP classic at the fresh age of 14 years old. Shoutout to 14 year old me for having such great taste back then because I can jam out to Car Radio any time of the day. What makes this song so personally special is that it got me into the band. Without it I am nothing (just kidding, or am I?). Car Radio serves as another live signature where Tyler and Josh both rock a ski mask on stage, a nod to their Vesselera. Perhaps the most notable essence of this song is the bridge — blasted with dynamic synths and screaming, bone chilling vocals from Tyler. Oh yeah, he also likes to climb things around the venue when they play it live. Someone give this man his damn car radio back.
1. Holding on to You
Euphoria at its best. Every production aspect of Holding on to You carries the Twenty One Pilots charm of superb alt music. We get a taste of everything that makes the band like no other — sick drumming, lovely piano chords, singing, yelling, and all in between. It’s a song that inspires your mind to hold on and never let go to who you are and the things you want. I believe this is also a high point during the live shows. You get to see Tyler being held up by the GA crowd, Josh doing a backflip off the piano, and Tyler perfectly timing his jump into his piano.