Best of the B-Sides: “Screen”

[Vessel Album Cover]

Twenty One Pilots, also known as “the biggest band you’ve never heard of” according to Stereogum, have had tons of success, especially with their most recent album Blurryface (check out our review here!).  Their major musical start, however, was with their debut album Vesselunder Fueled By Ramen. The band did have previously released works before Vessel, which were 2009’s self-titled album and 2011’s Regional At Bestbut Vessel was the band’s worldwide introduction to who they were. Many who are familiar and/or are fans of the duo know of the major tracks of the album such as “Holding On To You” and “Ode To Sleep,” but another track that stands out happens to be a b-side on the album entitled “Screen.”

“Screen” has a down-tempo hip hop beat that’s paired with a light piano throughout, which not only makes the song seem cheery at first, but also gives it a unique sound. However, “Screen,” along with many of the band’s other songs, has dark lyrics, which some might not notice if one’s solely focused on the instrumentals. The key line that is the most raw and relatable is: “While you’re doing fine, there’s some people and I/Who have a really tough time getting through this life/So excuse us while we sing to the sky.”

The last half of this song gets increasingly personal, especially when it’s played live. Joseph sings “We’re broken/We’re broken/We’re broken/We’re broken people” multiple times before going back into the chorus. Imagine for a moment, a concert teeming with Twenty One Pilots fans singing this. It’s such a powerful tune because while it expresses the loneliness of the human condition it brings people together at the same time.

Check it out for yourself!

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