Columbus, Ohio’s genre-bending Twenty One Pilots pack their high-powered tunes with myriad influences, filtering dynamic pop through head-nodding reggae grooves, breakneck hip-hop beats, and even skyscraping synth blasts. While this kitchen sink approach can create the sort of mess even a smash hit hook couldn’t clean up, the duo have managed to master combos that not only result in irresistible bangers, but also positions them as an original voice in pop music.
They learned from the best. Their tendency toward catchy, key-heavy hip-hop recalls Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ team-up with Chance The Rapper, “Need To Know”; The Killers’ lit-up, synth-dipped chorus on “Spaceman” matches their rousing sing-along aesthetic; and they share the same penchant for sonic theatrics as groups like Panic! at the Disco and Fall Out Boy. By some magic, they all sound just right next to each other.