All it took was one leak to unleash the heathens upon us. Recently a new Twenty One Pilots song was leaked onto the internet, which shortly afterward was revealed to be the group’s contribution to the Suicide Squad soundtrack, which comes out in August. Collectively the internet, along with the minds of many Twenty One Pilots fans, blew up – gushing over the song and its sultry, yet sinister feel to it. Then to add even more into the mix, only a few days after the leak, the duo premiered a music video for the leaked song. All of this made it pretty clear that June is a good month to be a Twenty One Pilots fan.

First things first: the song. The leaked song is called “Heathens”, and it has exactly what one expects, and loves to find in a Twenty One Pilots song, which is to blown away by both its mood and its powerful layers. At first one might have imagined that this was possibly a demo for their next album, which wouldn’t be too out there as this does sound like something that could be featured as a single off of one of their albums. The song is very dark, and in a sense, creepy. The lyrics are complex, as is the usual for this duo, with the verses composed of half-rap half-prose, which then leads up into the central chorus, which is normally the integral powerhouse touchstone that ties in the bolder singing aspects to the intensity of the rapping. Instead, this song did respect Twenty One Pilots consistency for layers, but held back when it came to changing up the intensity of the various aspects of the song. Instead it has the same calm, very quiet, low-key intensity to it, which proves to be just as successful in driving home the emotion of the song as when they switch it up. Now, when taking this song and pairing it up with a movie of this nature, the song just fits in so perfectly that one almost couldn’t imagine it any other way. So now that Heathens has its purpose, let’s move on to its video.

Only a mere few days after its leak, Twenty One Pilots, along with those working with Suicide Squad, released a video for “Heathens” that confirms that this song is definitely for the movie, in case there were any doubts. The video has a heavy amount of clips from the movie tied in, circulating around the prison in which all of the main members of the Suicide Squad are housed in. For those of you unfamiliar, Suicide Squad is the movie adaptation of a popular DC comic in which a group of DC universe villains are formed into an elite task squad for the government in order to both do some good, but also be the scapegoats in case any of the missions go wrong. So, beginning in a prison, the video focuses on main singer Tyler Joseph as a prisoner walking around and spending time in his cell, where he consistently see’s fellow band member, Josh Dun, playing the drums. Now Duns drum playing is meant to seem like a hallucination to Joseph as Dun is never featured in a prison uniform, is always playing in a fluorescent golden light, and is constantly popping up in cells or moving around the prison as he plays; a hallucination that which transfixes Joseph throughout the video. The video itself is meant to showcase the characters of the movie, along with Twenty One Pilots, as heathens and really portrays the general notion of the song, which is that these heathens are crazy and very much unstable. It is a video that does a good job of showcasing both the band and various aspects of the movie in a way that can make fan-bases of the two very happy.

With all of that happening so quickly one can only question if the song was really leaked or if it was a PR stunt by the movie team in order to gain the movie, and the song, more traction. With the leak of the song, plus the release of the movie soundtrack roster, and the music video all happening in such close proximity, the idea that this might have been planned seems very plausible. Either way the song would have been popular, with Twenty One Pilots having such a loyal and strong fan base. But when it comes to the world of social media there is no better way to get people talking, or in this case, tweeting, than to hit them with something more expected. So whether the song was really leaked or planned, in the end it has become an overnight sensation and is the kind of song where once you hear it, you’ll never be able to get it out of your head.


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