The Lore of ‘Clancy’ by Twenty One Pilots

The Lore of ‘Clancy’ by Twenty One Pilots

Words by Emily Cheyne

“Clancy” is the seventh studio album by Grammy award-winning duo Twenty One Pilots. This has been their most anticipated album after the name was released. Fans knew the name indicated it would be adding to the lore that the band has been establishing for almost a decade now. It is a very detailed story that I will try my best to explain, so stay with me. 

Fans were first introduced to the lore with their 2015 album “Blurryface.” Twenty One Pilots Frontman Tyler Joseph embodies a character named Blurryface who is meant to represent his insecurities and depression. Joseph is seen with black paint on his neck and hands throughout multiple music videos, which is his visual embodiment of Blurryface. Each time fans see this paint, they know it is in connection with the lore. Throughout this album and their 2018 album “Trench,” a story of a fictional city called Dema is established. The city is run by nine corrupt bishops who believe everyone’s purpose is to take their own life. The leader of the bishops is Nico, who is actually the physical representation of Blurryface. A group called the Banditos want to escape Dema to go to Trench, a place of freedom from the Bishops. 

Clancy has learned about Trench and wants to escape with the Banditos, but during an attempt, he is captured by the Bishops, as expressed in the album “Scaled and Icy,” which was essentially propaganda that Clancy was forced to write. Once Clancy finally escapes, he knows he must return to Dema to free the people. This is where the new album comes in. There is still so much lore that even I can’t completely explain so I will leave you at this. 

I won’t lie; I was pretty nervous for this album. The first time I heard Twenty One Pilots was in 2013 with their album “Vessel” and ever since then I have been a devoted fan. I have always loved how they don’t stick to one genre and are constantly trying to evolve. Their last album “Scaled and Icey” had a very mixed reaction from fans. It is different from the rest of their albums, and I personally didn’t think it was their best. When I heard “Clancy” would be released this year, I was obviously super stoked, but I had no idea what they would do with it. The new album is an homage to their original sound but has its own spin to it.

“Overcompensate” was the first song they released for the album as a single and let me just say that was the perfect comeback. When I heard the song for the first time I felt like I was 13 again, seeing them at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. It was the perfect mix of nostalgia and curiosity with what was yet to come. The song was released with a music video following the “Trench” storyline. 

Along with the release of the album, the duo and their team filmed a music video for every song on the album. There are only a few lore-based videos, but this is how they have done their past albums as well. The band has never been afraid to discuss heavy topics in their music. On the album, “Vignette” references struggles with addiction, while “Next Semester” portrays a failed suicide attempt, and “Routines in the Night” discusses insomnia and its effects. I think a lot of their fans can see themselves portrayed in the music, which makes them feel less alone in their struggles. 

The only song that doesn’t have a music video at the moment is “Paladin Strait.” During a live stream, the night of the album’s release, Joseph said the video would be released in June. There are speculations that this video will announce a double album but only time will tell. 

Twenty One Pilots knows how to keep their fans interested, even after all these years. They’re a band where you can’t predict what they will do next. I look forward to seeing where they will take us and their music. 

About Emily Cheyne

Emily Cheyne is a student at UNF majoring in Communication with a focus in multimedia journalism. Having a passion for music, she aspires to work in the music industry after graduation as a writer. Outside of work she enjoys going to local shows, thrifting, and reading.