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The Student News Site of Elmwood Park High School

The Tiger

The Student News Site of Elmwood Park High School

The Tiger

Album Review: Clancy by Twenty One Pilots


I’ve written about Twenty One Pilots before and, for my last article, I’ve decided to write about them again to celebrate the release of their latest album, Clancy. For this article, I’m going to be reviewing the album and sharing my thoughts. Before getting started, here’s some background information of the band and album.


Twenty One Pilots

On May 8, 2024, front-man Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun celebrated their 13th year anniversary of being in a band together. On that day 13 years ago, Twenty One Pilots announced the departure of their former drummer, Chris Salih, and introduced Josh Dun. Before, they also had a bassist, Nick Thomas, who also left the band due to personal reasons. Together, Tyler and Josh have released 6 albums: Regional at Best in 2011, Vessel in 2013, Blurryface in 2015, Trench in 2018, Scaled and Icy in 2021, and, finally, Clancy on May 24, 2024.


To get more in depth information on the band I recommend reading my first article here.


Background on Clancy

In my first article, I mentioned how Twenty One Pilots turn their music into lore and how they created a whole story-line full of characters and settings. What I mentioned was purely based off of fan theories, as the band doesn’t like to confirm theories or share exactly what the story is. The story all started with their Blurryface album and, since then, the story has developed from lyrics and music videos to a website with cryptic letters.


 Before the announcement of Clancy, letters were being sent to fans from Dema, a fictional place that was introduced in the Trench album, and were about some sort of investigation. The lore has been going on for a decade and on February 22, 2024, the band released a 4 minute video titled “I am Clancy” that explained all of the lore ending at the Scaled and Icy era. That was huge for fans and still is because all of their research and dedication, theories they spent so much time on, were either confirmed or denied. Theories and questions that were made over the span of 10 years were cleared up in a 4 minute video, but there were more questions, even some still left unanswered. I highly recommend watching the video because it helps you understand their music, along with the Clancy album, and will help you better understand this article. You can watch the video here.

Above is one of the 1,500 letters that were sent. When typing out the link, you are taken to the website that contains all letters that were written by Clancy since searching does not give you them.


Why is Clancy so special?

Despite the lore being explained before Clancy was even announced, it’s special for many other reasons. It is the last album that is a part of the story-line and every song off of the album has a music video for it. Some people have mistaken that it’s the last album in the current story-line and believe it is the last Twenty One Pilots album, but that is not true. Twenty One Pilots will continue making music; the music just won’t be connected to their previous albums that had to do with the lore.

For this album, the band has also done a lot for fans. After the release, they had a fan premiere exhibit which was free and had a lot of the band’s artifacts. Before the release, they had small shows and to get tickets for them, fans had to message the band and then answer a question about lore.



Clancy is a 13 song album and, again, every song has a music video. This is the track-list:

  1. Overcompensate
  2. Next Semester
  3. Backslide
  4. Midwest Indigo
  5. Routines In the Night
  6. Vignette
  7. The Craving (Jenna’s version)
  8. Lavish
  9. Navigating
  10. Snap Back
  11. Oldies Station
  12. At the Risk of Feeling Dumb
  13. Paladin Strait

For this article, I will specifically review “Overcompensate”, “The Craving (Jenna’s version)”, and “Paladin Strait”. Afterwards, I will go into the album as a whole.

Above is an image of the album cover for Clancy. This era’s main color is red and if you look closely towards the right, you can see circles, which is Blurryface, a character that represents Tyler’s insecurities.



Duration: 4:15

In the description of the “I am Clancy” video, it said “Next week, a new chapter begins”, so fans knew to expect something. On February 29, 2024, the music video for “Overcompensate” premiered. The beginning included a lot of lore as it showed their new logo, places on a map, and Dema. In the beginning, you hear the same line in different languages. The line was said first in German, then French, and, finally, Spanish. That line translated to English says, “This small, creepy island has converted me into a weapon. Many believe we can use it to change the momentum of this war”. You then hear “Welcome back to Trench”, which is a reference to a line in Trench’s “Levitate” that says, “Welcome to Trench”. Later on in the song, the drums begin and the line “I created this world to feel some control, destroy it if I want, so I sing Sahlo Folina” is said, which is on Trench’s 11th track, “Bandito”. The meaning of Sahlo Folina has a couple theories in itself and it is thought to mean the ability to enable expressive creations, or what we cry out in Trench when we are in need.

In the “Overcompensate” music video, Tyler wears a black mask with a strip of red in the middle. We also see that same mask in the “Navigating” music video, but besides that, we haven’t seen the mask in any previous album.


When it comes to the song, it sounds really good and it fits as the first track off of the album since it already has a lot of references to the story-line and past songs.  It’s a somewhat fast paced and upbeat song and the music video is really good. The bridge is also good and is also important to the lore. During the bridge, you can see Tyler teach the audience about Dema and Trench and what they do. The documents being projected on the wall are similar to the ones that were shown in the “I am Clancy” video.


My favorite lyrics:

“I feel like I was just here, same twitchin’ in my eyes. Don’t sleep on a boy who can’t fall asleep twice in the same night and won’t hesitate to maybe overcompensate.”

->This line could be a reference to Trench’s first track, “Jumpsuit”, since in the beginning of it, Tyler says, “You’ve been here the whole time. You were asleep. Time to wake up”

“Where am I from? I was born right here, just now, originated right in front of your eyes. If you can’t see, I am Clancy. Prodigal son, done running, come up with Josh Dun, wanted dead or alive.”

“Days feel like a perfect length. I don’t need them any longer, but for goodness sake, do the years seem way too short for my soul corazón (heart).”


“The Craving (Jenna’s version)”

Duration: 3:07

This song is about Jenna Joseph, Tyler’s wife, and has two versions that each have their music video. Jenna’s version is more acoustic compared to the single version since it’s just Tyler singing with his ukulele. The original version came first and premiered on May 22, 2024, while Jenna’s version was released with the whole album May 24, 2024. Jenna’s version is emotional as the music video is old videos of Tyler with Jenna and in the live-stream the band did premiering the music videos, Tyler was tearing up after it. In the release show they did in Columbus, Ohio, at Newport Music Hall, where Tyler and Josh met, Tyler played the song and started to cry. In the beginning of the song, you can hear Jenna crying saying, “I don’t know why I can’t stop crying. I’m getting old and I don’t know a lot about you still”. I really like the song because it’s really sweet and the ukulele fits well into the song.

Tyler has played “The Craving” before it was released but actually cried when playing it during the album’s release show. Other songs about his wife include “Tear in My Heart” and “Smithereens”.


My favorite lyrics:

“The more I think, the less I say. I hope that I communicate the craving”

“She just wants to catch a wave, ride it out ‘till the end of her days. I hope that I can satiate the craving”

“‘Cause it’s the fear of the unknown that cripples every step we take and I hate to put this on her, but I swear I will give more than I take away.”


“Paladin Strait”

Duration: 6:28

“Paladin Strait” was released but with a placeholder, not the music video. In the Clancy premiere live-stream, the band said that they have it filmed and just need to edit it and will release it early June. This song is crazy and has a shocking plot twist at the end. You do need to understand some lore to know how crazy it is and I never would’ve expected it. Hearing it for the first time was an amazing experience and I can’t wait for the release of the music video, especially because the song is 6 minutes long.

The song talks about Paladin Strait, which is a body of water, and how Clancy would swim it and is past the point of no return, so there’s things in the song that the fandom needs to learn about. At the end of the song, Clancy says that he’s making his way up a tower (Dema has towers with each one being assigned to a bishop) to find Nico, while Banditos are on the ground fighting. You then hear a door creak open and a deep voice, which is most likely Nico, say “So few, so proud, so emotional. Hello Clancy.”  The whole song has a lot to explain so I recommend listening to it in its entirety.

“The few, the proud, and the emotional” is a lyric from “Fairly Local”, which was on Blurryface. Since then, every album has had a different meaning for FPE which originated from that line.

Above is the official placeholder for “Paladin Strait” and towards the end, it says that the music video will release early June. Before, the longest Twenty One Pilots song was “Isle of Flightless Birds” from their self-titled album and is 5:45, but “Paladin Strait” took that title.


My favorite lyrics:

“Tracin’ out a line, a route I’ve mapped a thousand times, makin’ my way towards you.”

“I would swim the Paladin Strait without any floatation, just a glimpse of visual aid of you on the other shoreline waitin’, expectations that I’m gonna make it.”

“On the ground are banditos fighting while I find Nico, even though I’m past the point of no return. Climb the top of the tower, ‘Show yourself’ I yell louder, even though I’m past the point of no retur- ‘so few, so proud, so emotional. Hello Clancy’”


Overall thoughts

I really love this album. There is a theory that it’s a double album, but I’m personally not sure. People who have shared evidence that it could be a double album have made some reasonable points but the fact that the band already said that it’s the last album in the story-line makes me doubtful and I don’t want to get my hopes up too much. In the live-stream premiere before sharing “Paladin Strait”, Tyler said “Guys, when you hear the end of Paladin, you tell me, you tell me, does it sound like the end?” so people are also looking into that. This era has been amazing because of all they’ve done for fans. They’re also doing a world tour and headlining in Latin America for the first time, which is exciting. I also really like the meaning of songs. “Oldies Station” is about the fandom and “Midwest Indigo” is about the band’s hometown, Columbus, Ohio. Another song, “Lavish”, calls out wealthy people and talks about how they think they’re so important just because they have money and are living that “Lavish” lifestyle. When hearing “Paladin Strait”, it really hit me that this is closing off a story that spanned over a decade. I love this band and I can’t wait to see what else they have in store. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it!

Works Cited:

YouTube. (2024, May 24). Twenty One pilots – clancy music videos premiere livestream. YouTube.

Twenty One Pilots. (2024). Clancy [Album]. Fueled by Ramen.
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About the Contributor
Lizbeth Casas
Lizbeth Casas, Staff Reporter
Hi! My name is Lizbeth Casas and I’m a freshman at Elmwood Park High School. I love listening to music. Some of my favorite artists are Twenty One Pilots, Late Night Drive Home, James Marriott. I also love reading William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist and Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper series. 
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