“Heathens” by Twenty One Pilots
Written by: Allison
Twenty One Pilots “leaked” a new song last night and have blown it out of the water! Looking back to the transition between “Vessel” and “Blurryface,” their new song “Heathens” is taking the duo down another dynamic path that is revolutionary to their sound!
Heathens feels somewhat similar to a few tracks from their previous album, “Blurryface,” but still holds its own uniqueness. The song builds in intensity as it progresses- keeping a strength to match the powerful lyrics it accompanies. Melodically, the song has a slightly disturbing tone to it. From the deep undertones in the chorus to the grungy “watch it” that repeats multiple times in the second half of the song- the vocal layering throughout the song plays into the erie lyrics perfectly.
As per usual, the lyrics take you into the darker place of a troubled mind. This song has a number of references to taboo subjects we face on a daily basis. One part that stands out lies in the first verse. He came right off the bat with very blunt imagery, making references to the dangers that are hidden in plain sight such as, “You'll never know the psychopath sitting next to you / You'll never know the murderer sitting next to you / You'll think, how'd I get here sitting next to you?”
Going into the later half of the song, it seems like Tyler turns the focus from the general public to the band’s very own fan base, the Skeleton Clique. A heathen is a person whose beliefs stand outside of the social “norms.” By saying all his friends are heathens, Tyler is implying that all of his friends are like outsiders to the mainstream society- just like how the Skeleton Clique is a community of outsiders that found their place amongst each other. The chorus of the song shines light on the fact that everyone struggles with doubts and pain inside themselves and how we should take it slow when we meet new people. Pushing the message that we shouldn't assume everyone is ok and happy because “[We] don’t know the half of the abuse.” Going a bit deeper, you could infer that the band is referencing how the Clique is infamous for shaming new-comers to the fan base. Older fans in any fanbase tend to claim newer fans are “fake” and not as dedicated, but the Skeleton Clique has become especially known for this. “Heathens” could very well be Tyler and Josh’s warning to the Clique to be more accepting of newer fans because they could have hidden problems and the blind judgement would go against what the band stands for.
Lyric wise, and sound wise, the boys from Twenty One Pilots have unquestionably earned an 11/10! Only question is, what direction is "Heathens" taking us? Could it be a sneak peek at their next album? Or is it possibly another project of theirs- a soundtrack for the highly anticipated movie, "Suicide Squad" that is to come out in the early fall?!