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Track Review

We all need something, or someone, to have our backs when things get tough. That seems to be the theme of "Jumpsuit," one of two new singles from this alt-rock Ohio duo's forthcoming album, Trench.

With "Jumpsuit," Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun have crossed their ambiguous, angst-ridden vocals with a big dose of lo-fi instrumental rock, à la Jack White. The resulting track centers on the harsh reality of personal insecurities and the struggle to move past them.

What's up With the Suit?

Joseph and Dun admit at the outset that their anxieties can feel crushing and overwhelming at times: “I can't believe how much I hate/Pressures of a new place roll my way/… I crumble underneath the weight.”

These same insecurities that have apparently been with them since childhood persist into the present (and the future) as well: “Spirits in my room, friend or foe?/Felt it in my youth, feel it when I'm old.”

The antidote to such fears? This repeated, ambiguous request: "Jumpsuit, jumpsuit, cover me." That phrase—and the desperation with which it's uttered—has an almost prayerlike vibe to it, though we're never told exactly what this jumpsuit actually is. Perhaps it's a cry for God, for friends or family, as some have speculated with regard to the song's meaning.

Later on, we seem to hear a battle between the narrator's determination to help someone ("I'll be right there/ … If you need anyone/ … But you'll have to tie me down and then break both my hands") and some unnamed obstacle (perhaps within him, perhaps outside of him): "But you'll have to grab my throat and lift me in the air."

Facing the Red Rider

The video dramatically unpacks some of these ideas, and it's likewise pretty wide open to interpretation regarding its intended meaning. So let me give it a shot.

It opens with Tyler Joseph standing on top of a burning car saying, “We’ve been here the whole time." Those words are followed by, "You were asleep. Time to wake up."

The camera then pans through a breathtaking view of a green canyon with a dark river running through it as Joseph lies in the water, cloaked in—what else?—a jumpsuit. As he stands up, he looks behind him to see an apocalyptic, red-hooded figure riding toward him on a pale horse. The masked figure approaches Joseph and marks his throat with black paint, an act that could possibly represent how Joseph's vulnerabilities and insecurities that have similarly stalked him and left a mark on him. Some have even interpreted this scene as representing the silencing of his creativity.

Joseph begins to follow the figure until he sees yellow flower petals falling from the sky, prompting him to look upward as those who support him stand in similar jumpsuits—a possible sign of hope and support. It gives him the courage to turn away from the figure (perhaps his insecurities?) and run in the opposite direction.

At the end, he lays in the water next to the figure. It's unclear what the outcome of their relationship is here, as Joseph looks as though he might be dead. (Or perhaps … not?). The camera flashes back to Joseph near the car, who removes his own jumpsuit from the burning vehicle's trunk and walks away.

So what are we to make of this mini-movie? Has Tyler Joseph been overcome by his fears and anxieties? What are we to make of his two different roles in the video? And what about all those people watching and throwing flowers? What's up with them?

Suffice it to say that the video raises as many questions as it answers, and doesn't completely clarify the song's already murky meaning.

Cover Me, Cover Me

So what can we say about this song and video, and their collective meaning? I think we can say this: We are vulnerable. We need protection. We need each other to deal with the negative internal and external influences we face in this world.

The song and video may leave us with many questions. But they ultimately ask us to consider this one: Who, or what, will we turn to in troubled times? Who will be the jumpsuit that helps us cover our weaknesses?

That's a good question … even if the song and video here do a much better job of asking it than answering it.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

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Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







No. 1 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart.

Record Label

Fueled by Ramen




July 11, 2018

On Video

Year Published



Kristin Smith

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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