The 7 Most Emo Lyrics of the Emo/Pop-Punk Revival
    • FRIDAY, JUNE 16, 2017

    • Posted by: Caroline Bojarski

    Recently and briefly, I had a job where my co-workers and I had joint control of the music we used to retain our sanity during shifts. One time, during a rush where nobody had time or a free hand to select music, a pop-punk/emo playlist cued up, much to the dissatisfaction of my co-workers who vocally blamed me for this DJ faux pas because I had played a Highly Suspect song earlier that week, permanently associating myself with any and all music involving loud guitar chords.

    This reaction, sometimes manifesting in extremes such as loss of aux chord privileges, has been the fate of emo fans since the genre began to wither in the light of mainstream popularity in the mid 2000's. The raw, self-deprecating lyrics and forcefully simple instrumentals that characterize emo and pop-punk are frequently dismissed as the narcissistic whining of a bunch of white suburban kids eager to write tragedies in their mundane lives. The past five years have seen an Emo Revival with bands such as The Hotelier and Modern Baseball breathing life into the melodramatically dark subculture with new music, tour dates, and festival appearances.

    Suspected reasons for the rebirth of emo and pop-punk range from nostalgia for the comparatively good old days to the passage of enough time to allow us to laugh about this musical equivalent of an awkward teen phase. Whatever cosmic motivation may underlie this resurgence, I'm personally glad that it is once again acceptable to sing unflinchingly angsty lyrics with all your broken heart. Here are 8 lyrics from emo revival bands that are resurfacing the genre as if it were your middle school profile picture. You know. The one where you have side-bangs and used Taking Back Sunday lyrics as your caption.

    1. "Away with God/ Away with love/ Our hands are tied and stepped on."

    "Katamari Duquette" by The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die


    I would like to point out that this band's name is not only an entire sentence, but also a compound sentence that makes a sweeping generalization about mortality. Just when you thought it couldn't get more emo than that, the band's name takes on a hint of bitter irony in light of the bleak chorus and soundtrack-esque guitar breakdown at the end of "Katamari Duquette", a track released early this month alongside the equally intense "Even More Forever".

    2. "Well can you taste the gin?/ Well I can't taste anything/ I'm obsessed with myself/ I'll put my picture on the shelf and I won't look at someone else/ Until I smash the frame this evening."

    "Fossa" by Boston Manor


    "Fossa" combines the classic emo feeling of destructive numbness with a dash of self awareness as lead singer Henry Cox admits to the introspective absorption that is the genre's calling card. Boston Manor is more on the pop-punk wing of the revival, but this song earns them major emo points as they burn down a house in the first verse. If you still aren't convinced, Google defines a "fossa" as a "shallow depression or hollow".

    3. "Stitch your heart on your sleeve/ If it breaks, stitch it on to me/ Bash it back into shape/ You might be cracked, but I won't let you break."

    "Future Mixtape For The Art Kids" by Beach Slang


    These lyrics from this aptly named Beach Slang track delve into a relationship between two damaged people. Speaking of appropriate names, "Future Mixtape" is the first song on Beach Slang's 2016 album A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings. This particular song goes beyond the meaningless sound and fury the album title suggests as the speaker offers support and protection to whoever he is addressing. This acceptance in spite of hardship mirrors the emo movement's reputation as a safe haven for misfits.

    4. "I wish I could forget it/ It's so hard I'll never get it right/ Cold hearts on a colder night/ The stronger the ties, the sharper the knife."

    "Retrograde" by Silverstein


    If you're looking for a screamo aesthetic, Canadian band Silverstein is exactly what you need. "Retrograde" is their newest single from upcoming album, Dead Reflection, scheduled for release July 14th. The opening verse borders on satanic and gets a little gory as it alludes to some sort of chilling ritual.

    5. "I've been smoking too much lately/ I can feel it on my chest/ But I'll stand in the garden with you/ I didn't get much sleep last night but that's alright/ It was worth it just to see you move that hair from your eyes/ And/ Smile like you do."

    "Gum" by Moose Blood


    "Gum" crafts a compelling contrast between the roughly shouted vocals of Moose Blood lead singer Eddy Brewerton and the straightforward sweetness of the song's lyrics. The relationship in the song involves simple activities like watching a movie while holding hands and staying up all night that are perfect for the youthful nostalgia of emo revival. If it weren't for the mournfully pleading chorus, I would be tempted to say that this song could function as a softer indie track. The iconic, twangy emo vocals make all the difference.

    6. "And the drone of the open air yawning/ Couldn't help me feel any less small/ In these days we will wear the same blanket/ In these days we feel nothing at all."

    "Goodness, Pt. 2" by The Hotelier


    Christian Holden of The Hotelier offers a prime example of the power of the reedy emo vocal style on the title track to The Hotelier's 2016 album. In "Goodness, Pt. 2", Holden sings about human insignificance against the vastness of nature as well as his personal growth and recovery from depression. This song has a generally hopeful feel with an unwavering drum line and lyrics that focus on finding a balance between sadness and joy.

    7. "You think you're so original/ I can't wait for your funeral/ I don't wish you were dead, I wish you'd never been born at all/ I'm trying not to let you get in my head but every line, every goddam syllable/ That you say makes me want to gouge out my eyes with a power drill/ If this tour doesn't kill you.../ Then I will."

    "If This Tour Doesn't Kill You, I Will" by PUP


    PUP is decidedly more pop-punk than emo, and there is nothing more punk than a song written from the perspective of a band member airing his stinging hatred for his fellow band mates and counting down the days until the end of a tour. All in a joking manner of course. PUP tops it off with this video featuring the four band members trying to get rid of each other in creative ways and finally uniting to play a packed house concert in bloody hospital gowns.

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