In “Stressed Out,” Joseph sings about what he wishes was different, and how life is different from what he imagined it would be (I was told when I get older all my fears would shrink / but now I’m insecure and I care what people think). The chorus then goes into how they wish they could turn back time to the good ol’ days, when they were younger and everything was okay. But now they’re stressed out grown-ups. The simple, percussion based melody helps to give the song the extra layer that it needs to paint the picture needed.
The music video for “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots starts out with member Tyler Joseph riding around on a tricycle as the music starts. In the video, Joseph and Josh Dunn reenact childhood familiarities despite clearly being adults – tricycles, juice pouches, and secret handshakes especially. These familiar things that everyone can relate to really bring on a sense of nostalgia, and amplify the nostalgia felt in the song. It almost makes you long for the good ol’ days as well.
The song and video also touch on all of the responsibilities that are put onto young-adults shoulders – record-high student loans, as well as the pressures of family and society to make decent money in a bad economy. But all through the video, it’s the band members’ faces that really make the video work. All through the video, despite acting like children again, their faces are those of stressed out grown-ups who know the world’s never going to be like that again.
In the end, “Stressed Out” is a soft sounding, but very relevant anthem to the generation that was raised on the belief that anything was possible if you set your mind to it, then came out into the real world with more stresses and worries than any other. And the music video makes the message hit home in the best way.
Image Cred: Pure Volume