The new generation of Emo in eight versions
By Adam Feibel May 25, 2021
Emo has entered a new era. The oft-maligned and largely misunderstood branch of punk rock has come a long way from its origins in the mid-1980s, when bands like Rites of Spring and Embrace pioneered what was then called “emotional hardcore.” . This evolution has taken place over the course of about seven to ten years, with each resurgence building on the last while establishing its own characteristics, trends and standard bearers.
In the 90s, groups like Sunny Day Real Estate, The promise ring, Mineral, and Football transformed the emo concept into a movement in its own right, releasing albums that remain very influential to this day. In the mid-2000s, emo had its mainstream moment, thanks to angsty boy bands like My Chemical Romance, Resume Sunday and Confessional Dashboard. Around 2010, a new generation of bands returned the scene to the underground, with bands like The hotelier, Joyce Manor, and Modern baseball find popularity. Now, just five years later, a new wave of emo groups is establishing itself in the pantheon.
“It feels like it appeared overnight,” says Florida band’s Brandon MacDonald Where is the house. “It became so clear to everyone that something was happening, that there was a movement going on, and that they didn’t even know they were part of it.
Over the past couple of years, a number of new acts have released albums that draw on emo’s long history in fresh and exciting ways. While the bands all tend to tap into the same pool of influences, they also incorporate elements of jazz, folk, metalcore, pop-punk, electronic music, and other styles into what still fundamentally resembles emo records.
In addition, a genre historically occupied by the voices of straight white men is being reinvigorated by musicians of diverse backgrounds, identities and experiences. There are more women, POC and LGBTQ people taking center stage and telling their stories. The tide has also spread far beyond America, with an impressive crop of international acts such as Japan. Weave, Russia Spasibo, From Argentina archipelagosand Brazil Um Quarto. Considering this is a genre based on displays of intensely open self-expression, the emo scene is better for it.
These are the artists who are surfing the “fifth wave” of emo.
Dogleg thought his debut album could become a cult classic – an album this is only appreciated years later, like their idols Texas is the reason. Instead, the opposite has happened. As the Detroit-area group got ready to go out Melee early 2020, it was already one of the most anticipated releases of its kind. Take the approach of post-hardcore bands like Bear vs. Shark and At Drive-In, Dogleg turns their songs into a total physical attack, hoping to cause a total emotional catharsis. “We like to play fast and we love to play hard,” said Alex Stoitsiadis. “I might not have the best words to say, in a poetic way, that my life is like shit. But I do know how to play as hard as I can, and show you what it feels like to tear at the seams on the inside. Melee is a high octane album that wastes no fuel.
Glass Beach’s debut album
Described by themselves as “jazzy, gay, nerdy synth punk” and “happily trans and queer”, Glass beachThe idiosyncratic escape album of is loud, festive, and about as indifferent to traditional definitions of emo as it gets. With sounds borrowed from chiptune, prog-rock, surf-pop, jazz, ambiance and Broadway, Glass Beach’s debut album would have been automatically disqualified from the emo conversation in decades past. And yet, here we are. “We certainly got away from the old emo waves, but we weren’t consciously trying to make an emo record,” says singer-songwriter J. McClendon. “We wanted to not be constrained by gender.” The group self-released the record on Bandcamp in the spring of 2019, and it earned them such a devoted fan base as the Boston label. Running for the cover reissued eight months later. Recalling artists as different as My Chemical Romance, Bomb the music industry! and 100 guys, Glass Beach’s debut album is an eccentric masterpiece of modern emo.
Surprise released in early 2021, the third album of Harmony wood is the blossoming sound of singer-songwriter Sofia Verbilla. Inspired by the emotionally vivid storytelling of Julien baker and Mitski, Verbilla’s music is as powerful as it is delicate. All along Graceful rage, she both unwraps and deals with her emotional trauma in a way that empowers her. “Writing these songs was a purely therapeutic thing for me,” she says. “I wrote these songs for myself. And then in the middle of 2020, I was like, ‘Is there any chance that releasing these songs could help people somehow – make them feel a little less alone? ‘ ” Graceful rage had an immediate impact on the emo scene. Verbilla’s confessional lyrical style runs deep and, with her rich and resonant music, she opens her arms to anyone who has suffered and endured as she has.
Led by the brutal honesty of Erik Garlington, the Brooklyn-based Proper trio. delivering devious, faith-based dispatches about the black and queer experience in modern America. Taking their name from ‘Whites tell us,’ You speak white. You talk, like, really good “”, the band finds inspiration in artists like The good years, Say anything, and Kanye West, inspiring fans with a remarkably personal but widely accessible dossier on the pursuit of happiness and togetherness in a world that makes things difficult. I spent the winter takes a proven formula for emo-pop and pushes it forward, imbuing candid personal anecdotes with broader socio-political commentary and urging listeners to keep living, learning and growing. “I want people who aren’t like me to know what it’s like to be like me,” Garlington says. “You will be heard, you will be included and you will have a place here. Our goal is simply to make people feel less alone.
Somewhere in town
With their debut album 2019, Origami angel solidified as one of the new favorite bands in the emo scene, quickly gaining a staunch fan base known as the ‘gami gang’ (a nickname that inspired their title. second album). “This scene is so flammable,” says singer and guitarist Ryland Heagy. “Things stick and they stick. This keeps it fresh and attractive. ” Somewhere in town is an original playhouse that offers a 30-minute escape from the woes of adulthood with a journey to a land of eternal youth. The Washington, DC-based duo merge the melancholy arpeggios of influences like Algernon Cadwallader with the upbeat and fun energy of pop-punk bands like Four years old. They sprinkle their songs with infectious melodies, lightning-fast guitar work, and thick, metallic riffs, all while giving them an air of bittersweet sentimentality – which is why Somewhere in town hits so close to the heart.
Shannon Taylor calls her music “extremo,” an ironic nickname that’s also surprisingly accurate. Drawing from early acts like Rites of Spring and Sunny Day Real Estate, awake but stillThe latter’s debut album bursts with a feeling of despair. Released independently in early 2018, then reissued by the North Carolina label Small engines a month later, self-esteem acted as a lifeline for Taylor during the darkest and darkest time of his life. “I wrote this album about how I wanted to kill myself,” she says. “Fortunately, that didn’t happen. The writing process has been very good for me. It was very healing. By the end of the album, I seem really exhausted – but not defeated. With Taylor’s voice cracking as she pushes herself to the breaking point, the record is reminiscent of the genre’s long-standing roots in catharsis, with potentially life-saving effects.
Where is the house
I have become birds
“What if Fugazi wanted to do Animal sounds with folk instruments? This is the concept behind Where is the houseof I have become birds, a short but memorable record that set the internet on fire in early 2021. Mixing the crackling sounds of Midwestern emo with the raw vocal frenzy of ’90s screamo and the folk styles of Neutral Milk Hotel and Bob Dylan, the album serves as a complex allegory for MacDonald’s process of discovering their transgender identity. Musically and lyrically, the band takes emo to fascinating new territory with serious seriousness and a sneaky, internet-poisoned sense of humor. Overflowing with greedy ambition, I have become birds looks like a mission statement for the shape of the upcoming emo.
Music for safe sex
Children’s pool‘ Music for safe sex is a sophisticated blend of Midwestern emo, gnarled math-rock, atmospheric alternative rock, and upbeat power-pop. They even enjoyed a hearty co-sign from Hayley Williams, who posted that the Pool Kids are what Paramore “would have wished us to sound like the early 2000s”. Band leader Christine Goodwyne is both a guitar witch and a versatile singer who draws attention with ironic lyricism, dynamic performance and technically savvy instrumentation. Whether they are playing with utter fury or drifting away from their thoughts, Pool Kids are intense and unpredictable. And the group’s interest in innovation is what will sustain it in the long term. “If your group is into some kind of meme, that meme will die eventually,” Goodwyne says. “Good, strong, and loyal fan bases are important because they will stay with you even after the meme is dead.”