In Leave the City, Twenty One Pilots unpacks the idea that a path ahead in the midst of problems isn't always clear and obvious. It discusses brutally honest questions from Tyler who is still exploring faith and entertaining deeper existential questions. The symbol of a fire is comparable to his soul, or maybe just his spirituality. He sings that he's "tending" to it, but warns that "the burning is so low it's concerning". The straining vocals and tone of the song as a whole reflect the sadness in his words, "they know that it's almost over". Fearing he's losing something valuable, Tyler declares over and over the in the bridge:
In time, I will leave the city For now, I will stay alive In time, I will leave the city For now, I will stay alive
Unwilling to give up, he'll keep the fire burning just somewhat as he tries to discover answers to why that could come from any number of angles.
The city that he's in is somewhere that has to be left before he'll begin to start seeing more clearly. Intentionally left ambiguous, Tyler said of the track "I did not define what that ‘where you’re supposed to be is. There’s no name for it, that’s not defined, and that was intentional. To be in part of that process, I knew this record was about getting up and starting". Leaving the city isn't about giving up, it's about starting so that motivation can follow and understanding can be found.
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