twenty øne piløts' Scaled and Icy - What You Need To Know
twenty øne piløts, the eclectic and all-conquering duo return this week with Scaled and Icy, the sixth full-length album of their career, and here is everything you need to know about it...
What’s the background?
While lots of artists saw their touring plans and promotion schedules ripped up by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, twenty øne piløts had finished their touring commitments in support of their 2018 LP Trench and were firmly in writing mode, but that didn't mean the pair were unaffected.
Rather than head into the studio to make their new album, the pair opted to work remotely. That meant frontman Tyler Joseph wrote and recorded the album in isolation at his home in Columbus, Ohio with drummer Josh Dun engineering the drum tracks from his home in Los Angeles.
Describing the process, the pair said: "Scaled and Icy is the product of long-distance virtual sessions and finds the duo processing their upended routines along with the prevailing emotions of 2020 - anxiety, loneliness, boredom, and doubt."
In detailing the record, the pair have talked up the pandemic's impact on their writing, revealing it's given them a "more imaginative and bold approach to their songwriting". Not something most of us thought was ever lacking...
The album might have been made in Joseph's home studio, but he's branched out a little when it comes to production.
Scaled and Icy features production from Mike Elizondo, who has worked with the likes of Rag’N’Bone Man, Maroon 5 and Fiona Apple, hitmaker Greg Kurstin, whose credits included little-known singer and small-time rockers Foo Fighters and Mutemath frontman Paul Meany, who produced 2018's Trench.
Any special guests?
Jay Joseph, brother of mainman Tyler Joseph, appears on a couple of tracks.
What does it sound like?
Like all of Joseph and Dun's earlier work, Scaled and Icy is impossible to pin down in simple sonic terms. The pair have spent their career making a virtue of leaping from genre to genre, sometimes within the same song.
The album ranges from the breezy indie-pop of 'Shy Away' to the Weezer esque lament 'Choker' all the way through to hip-hop and the pair's everlasting taste for vaudevillian music hall sonics.
Does it deliver?
For twenty øne piløts' devoted fanbase, they're already well accustomed to the pair's genre-crossing tastes and grand narrative plans, and it delivers in both those regards. It doesn't feel like there's a breakout hit in the manner of 'Heathens' or 'Stressed Out', but as far as keeping their growing fanbase happy, it is mission accomplished.