Emo Revival

Emo Revival

The emo music scene is not only back, but better than ever

My whole life I have been drawn to music, which is fairly normal for anyone. However, my obsession never let up. It only became stronger. Now, my car is littered with CDs and I collect albums incessantly. I relish the day that new records are released and usually listen to them through so many times on repeat until it’s all memorized. It is a lifestyle that chose me. In my spare time, I read song lyrics and put on countless albums to play through. My idea of fun is driving around alone blasting music and singing my heart out, or staying at home listening to music for five hours straight.

One thing that has not changed is the misconception of the genre of music that I listen to.

I listen to emo music. It has become so difficult to explain to people that I have just start saying that I listen to Indie – which is true, but just not the entire picture.

Emo music has been mislabeled and thought of wrong for decades.

So, what is emo music?

Emo stands for emotional. It's that simple. Music that holds emotional, personal and often confessional lyrics can be considered emo. The semantics (meaning) of songs are held in the lyrics. Real emo music can be read like poetry. It is often deep, heartfelt, and even somber. The genre became increasingly popular in the 1990’s by bands such as Sunny Day Real Estate, Jets to Brazil, The Promise Ring, and many others.

As time went on, emo bands began to experiment with louder and softer dynamics. This is when the music began to adopt and implement more rhythmic and intricate melodies. One will often hear the lighter strings being played and there is more of that ‘twinkly’ guitar sound.

Indie vs. Pop

Emo music has always relied on a DIY (do it yourself) ethic, and more importantly, sincerity. Lyrics and rhythms of emo music are meant to be personal and from the heart – similar to poetry. In other words, the genre has always been indie (independent). Real emo music has never really been big or widespread, and they do not usually sign to big record labels that play music on the radio. Emo music has mostly been an underground scene.

It was not until the emergence of Midwest Emo music that the genre began to spread in popularity.

Midwest Emo is a style of indie rock that chose a less hardcore/punk route and went with an easier, gentler touch. It can be distinguished by its twinkly guitar sounds and its overall more upbeat rhythms. Bands such as Cap’n Jazz, American Football and Mineral are some pioneers in this category. They are also bands that began to move emo music more into popular culture. Emo started to become more popular. After Weezer’s album ‘Pinkerton’ in 1996 – which is considered one of the first and best emo albums of all time – other bands began to jump on the scene. The genre started to bloom in popularity. Big record labels took notice and a group of new bands stormed in with emo influences. Bands such as Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday, etc. would be associated with the emo genre; however, they remain pop music. Pop music is meant to reach and appeal to the masses, so they create catchier songs that are simple enough to stick in your head after one listen. Do not confuse independent (indie) emo with pop (popular/radio) emo music.

Emo vs. Scene

After the genre started to really blow up in popularity around early-2000, the misconception only expanded. The emergence of radio emo music took over the whole scene and adopted the genre as its own. However, do not be confused with the ever-popular, mall-emo that took youth culture by storm and real, authentic emo music. The difference is actually quite simple. Popular/radio emo music can be known as ‘scene’. Bands such as Senses Fail, Silverstein, Underoath, A Day to Remember, Hawthorne Heights, etc. belong to this scene group. Later on, bands such as Asking Alexandria, Falling in Reverse, The Amity Affliction, and Bring Me The Horizon continued the scene tradition. These bands may be associated with and influenced by emo music, but they are not emo bands. If anything, they can be categorized as Post-Hardcore bands, as they scream/squeal, have breakdowns, and play ‘heavier’ guitar. Emo music does not do this.

Emo kids are the opposite of ‘Scene’ kids. Emo kids do not want to be seen. They are usually reserved, quiet, and keep to themselves. Scene is where kids dye their hair a number of colors and wear eye liner, etc. Put simply: Scene is to be seen. Emo, typically, is to not be seen. Emo bands do not look for attention, popularity, or money. It is about the music.

An analogy would be rap vs. hip hop. Rap is usually on the radio and is the popular one, while hip hop is the more underground, indie version that concentrates on lyrics as opposed to merely a ‘dope beat’.


After 2010 or so, scene music (radio emo/mall emo) and its popularity had started to die down. However, an underground emo revival would also be in the works. Many new bands were beginning to draw on the sounds and aesthetics of emo music in the 1990’s/early 2000’s. There has been a renewed interest in emo and especially Midwest emo. As a result, the genre is being revived. Bands such as Algernon Cadwallader, Glocca Morra, Snowing, Dikembe, Marietta, Foxing, Brave Bird, etc. have helped bring back a forgotten genre. Emo music has also broadened its sound again. Being independent (indie) bands allows for them to experiment with new sounds and sound original, and all while keeping that classic twinkly emo sound. Bands such as Modern Baseball, The Front Bottoms, Turnover, Warm Thoughts, Hotelier, Joyce Manor, Dowsing, Prawn, Kittyhawk, Tigers Jaw, Tiny Moving Parts, The World is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die, etc. have helped bring back the indie emo scene.

Even older emo bands have returned. Jimmy Eat World came out with a new album in October of 2016, and Midwest emo pioneers American Football have returned after over 15 years to put out their second self-titled album. Joan of Arc, a Chicago emo band formed in 1995, is also back together and put out a new record this week - which you can stream here. The emo revival is upon us.

Cover Image Credit: imgur

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Poetry On Odyssey: I was I am

A poem for those struggling with who they were.


it seems almost like a page

in someone else's book now

how there was

a time that i thought

i could have been happy

with someone like you

a million years before

i knew who i was

and that i should mean so much more

than i ever did to you

i almost can't remember

the way you held your elbows or

the way you said the letter o or

the way you told me goodnight

it seems now

that all i can recall

are my relentless tears and

the fear that this was the love

that everyone spoke about

the fear that this

was what id have to live with

for the rest of my life

i remember those late nights

just you and i

you always got what you wanted

i was always too afraid to upset you

looking back i wonder why

i couldnt leave you then

but you kept me

my misery maintained until

i felt like nothing

that night was the record scratch

When I knew my life

Shouldn't be like this.

It wasn't until I finally broke our ties

That I started to remember

Who I am.

But my mind is clear now.

I can remember

How strong I am,

How perfectly happy I am

On my own.

It seems almost like a page

In someone else's book now.

You're finally fading away.

I just wish my scars could fade as quickly.

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