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The side bangs might have grown out and the black eyeliner may have faded, but the heart of the emo kid doesn’t just die away.
Emo as a music genre emerged from the mid-80s punk scene in Washington, D.C., with a band called Rites of Spring – who, interestingly enough, hated being labeled emo.
In the early 2000s, the more hardcore alternative sound of early emo then mingled with pop, giving us the emo music that we know today – a genre bannered by the likes of My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday, and Dashboard Confessional.
As a genre of music, emo is rather hard to define – melancholy lyrics aren’t exclusive to emo, and not all songs that fall under the genre have soaring, screaming vocals. A lot of emo music dances on the fragile border between emo and punk, and many pop-punk artists like Green Day and Avril Lavigne would not be out of place on a playlist of emo songs.
Emo music is perhaps best described as evoking a certain mood – angsty, but not like the biting, weathered angst of hard rock; dark, but not devilish like heavy metal.
As difficult as it is to pin emo down musically, aesthetically, it’s pretty easy to spot an emo kid. In the early 2000s, emo music gave way to the rise of the emo subculture of many of our childhoods – marked by black and red aesthetics, bright highlights, and studded accessories.
Our emo phase may have just receded into the darkness to make room for more important stuff like “adulting” – but with emo icon My Chemical Romance reuniting for a concert on December 20, those tucked-away emo hearts are ready to scream to melancholic lyrics and angsty guitar riffs and drum beats once more.
And us? Well, we’re here to help you relive these days.
So this National Emo Day, go ahead and slap on some of that eyeliner, dress up in that all-black, spiked, and checkered wardrobe, and get ready to cry your eyes out to Emo Era, a playlist of all your emo classics curated by Rappler.
Which songs did you ugly cry to during your emo phase? Did we miss any of your favorites? Go ahead and follow the playlist so you can add them in there! – Rappler.com