Twenty One Pilots frontperson Tyler Joseph says the follow-up to 2018’s Trace will be arriving sooner than planned.
Joseph posted a tweet in early April confirming new music was in development. “Always writing, but this one feels like it should just come out now,” he wrote. “First song I ever wrote on electric guitar. I think it’s simple but hopeful.”
After liaising with his band mate Josh Dun, the fruits of Joseph’s labour became public just days later. ‘Level of Concern’ was released on April 9; the group’s first single since the ARIA number one album Trench. The song’s lyrics make Joseph’s inspiration bleedingly obvious. “Wonderin’ would you be my little quarantine? Or is this the way it ends?” he sings in the pre-chorus.
But beyond throwing in apt SEO keywords, the song focuses on how important close personal relationships are for providing comfort in a time of global uncertainty and panic. “You could bring down my level of concern / Just need you to tell me we’re alright,” goes the main hook.
One month later, it looks like coronavirus isolation has continued to inspire Joseph. Twenty One Pilots were expected to be on tour through May-June, but instead of hosting stay-at-home concerts, Joseph’s been writing the band’s next album.
“I’m writing a record right now,” he told Beats 1’s Zane Lowe. “I’m not sure when it’ll be released, but it’s definitely going to be released sooner than we were planning on releasing a record.
“As much as I appreciate everyone getting on their computer and playing acoustic bedroom versions of stuff, it’s old to me. I don’t want to just to do that. I want to talk to our fans through a record. So that’s what I’m currently working on.”