Ohio-born, Grammy award-winning, pop-rock duo Twenty One Pilots are officially back from their year-long hiatus with new music! Most notable of the band's onslaught of song releases, tour announcements, and album details is their recent music video for their new single: "Jumpsuit."
The video plays off of many of the teaser material the band released over the past few months (which you can read for yourself thanks to this compiled mega thread on Reddit), which saw t.o.p. fans going on a scavenger hunt across cyberspace to compile the backstory of the band's upcoming concept album, "Trench."
From what can be gathered, the narrative of the album will follow Clancy, an individual who is working towards escaping a massive, controlling society called DEMA. Clancy recognizes that true freedom will come from escaping the organized state, including working past the grasp of the nine "bishops" and the "watchers" that run everything.
There is honestly too much going on in the music video to unpack everything, but here I want to focus on (what I believe to be) the most important yet largely missed aspect of the music video:
"Jumpsuit" declares the Gospel of Jesus and everybody is missing it!
Let me explain. There are two primary characters in the music video that have led me to this conclusion: Clancy (portrayed by Tyler), and a red-hooded, elderly figure riding a pale horse. As we've established, Clancy is a character who has, in a sense, wake up to the trappings of living in obedience to his society's way of life and desires to escape to have true freedom.
But in Clancy's attempt to escape, he comes across the red-hooded figure riding the pale horse. I would like to refer to this character by what I believe is its true name: Death.
In the Book of Revelation (a very poetically complex and culturally nuanced piece of literature that details the resolution of the story of the Bible, where Good triumphs over Evil and God's people are once again called to cultivate hope for the restoration of the world), there is a vision of a scroll being opened, seal by seal.
The fourth seal is opened, and the narrator "look[s], and there before [them is] a pale horse! Its rider was named Death" (Revelation 6:8 NIV). This may seem trivial: this can loosely connect to the music video, as a there is an elderly rider cloaked riding a pale horse. But here is where things get interesting.
The music video opens with a clear allusion to the previous Twenty-One Pilots' music video: "Heavydirtysoul." One of the most iconic lyrics from the song is "death inspires me like a dog inspires a rabbit." Cut to the "Jumpsuit" video, and what does the rider of the pale horse do? It inspires Clancy (portrayed by Tyler) to run away, like how a dog "inspires" a rabbit.
So we have Death chasing down Clancy, who is trying to escape a conformed society to find true freedom.
But if the religious symbolism wasn't enough, there's more!
The primary scene of the music video takes place in a ravine/valley of sorts. As Tyler stares at the character of Death and its pale horse, all I can think of is one of the most famous psalms from Scripture, Psalm 23:
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me" (Psalm 23:4, NASB).
The connection couldn't be more obvious: the character Tyler is portraying is walking through a valley of the shadow of Death, with both Scriptural references coming together to create a holistic picture of Tyler taking refuge in his jumpsuit (this could be a stand-in for Faith in general).
In short: Twenty-One Pilots' recent single, "Jumpsuit," shows the world how to find true freedom: live a life that replicates the Way of Jesus. When the Evil of this world tempts you, it should inspire you to flee from it, like how a dog inspires a rabbit to do the same. We must also recognize that to truly conquer temptation and Death ultimately means putting on the "jumpsuit," and submitting to the Way of Life that Jesus Himself lived, and through that, we are freed from the structure and societal pressures of this world, to find freedom in the Life that is truly Life.