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Twenty One Pilots | Download Festival Ones To Watch

We countdown to Download Festival highlighting a new band each week. This week is Twenty One Pilots.

Source: Official Website

Source: Official Website

It is now 9 weeks to go until we get to invade the fields of Castle Donnington again, rock out to a whole host of rock and metal music in a field, and get drunk with friends. To celebrate the countdown to one of the UK’s biggest rock festivals I have decided to highlight a number of smaller or less well known bands that you may have missed on this year’s Download Festival line-up.

To start with we’re going to highlight this year’s curveball act, Twenty One Pilots. They’re one of those bands that are really going to have to pull out all of the stops to get the crowd on their side. Their blend of schizoid pop and infectious rap lyrics is something that you would never really link to Download Festival, but a curveball act like this hasn’t been something that Download are opposed to in recent years. Two years ago they had Chase and Status subbing to Prodigy, something which garnered a lot of hate, but at the end of the day becomes one of the talking points of the entire weekend, mainly good points. Download have also had Pendulum on a number of occasions and even attempted to bring in drum and bass new kid Porter Robinson, but for reasons beyond their control he had to pull out.

The band is only 5 years old, being formed in 2009 by college friends, Tyler Joseph, Nick Thomas and Chris Salih. Since then the threesome has become two, and Thomas and Salih have been replaced by drummer Josh Dun. Only in 5 short years the band have managed to release two self-released albums and one via record label Fuelled by Ramen. The latter album certainly being the most critically acclaimed of the lot.

Since signing onto Fuelled by Ramen, Twenty One Pilots have exploded into the consciousness of the music industry and have proven that they’re a band that cannot be ignored. On their latest album ‘Vessel’ there are so many stand out tracks that it becomes absurd. ‘Holding Onto You’ is definitely a must for a summer festival afternoon. The music itself is so uplifting keeping your head bobbing throughout the tracks run time. If you listen carefully though there is a lot of pain in Joseph’s lyrics, the amount of skill it takes to rap like this cannot be understated. He is has mastered the ability to mix both fast paced and very decisive lyrics while at the same time keeping it incredibly tuneful. This is rap music with a real message. This theme follows into ‘Migraine’, which although on the surface feels very depressing, you can feel that there is some real love underneath. Another fan favourite ‘Car Radio’, which is another dead certainty to make its way onto the Saturday set list. ‘House of Gold’ is proof that they can branch into other genres. The inclusion of the ukulele adds a sense of folk purity into their sound. It is a track which you can definitely picture yourself listening to while sitting in a field and drinking a glass of cider.

You can’t take Twenty One Pilots for face value. They are much more than a copy and paste pop-rap band. They are something completely different, something refreshing and infectious. If you haven’t guessed already this is a band that I have a real passion for, mainly because they are something a little bit different and I just hope the Download crowd give them a chance to do what they do best. They have received a reputation recently for having a really energetic, yet simplistic live show. They pull on their sound more than lights or theatrics, but in order to garner the attention from the Download stalwarts Twenty One Pilots are really going to have to pull the cat out of the bag and try something big and something different.

Album to own: ‘Vessel
Three tracks you must listen to: ‘Car Radio‘, ‘House of Gold‘, ‘Holding Onto You

You can catch Twenty One Pilots at Download Festival on the Zippo Encore Stage on Saturday 14th June.

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