I know I've already written an article about emo music, but fuck it. Let's do it again!
Some of you might be familiar with such staples of the genre like Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, The GetUp Kids, and Senses Fail to name a few. While all of those bands are great and in my imaginary list of favorite emo bands (maybe I'll make that into an article someday), I want to discuss the more obscure emo bands. If you know any of these bands that I'm about to talk about, hey! Congrats dude! You've got great taste in music!
As for everyone else, either fire up your speaker system or grab your favorite pair of headphones; we're about to go somewhere sad and jolly all at the same time.
1. "Everyone Asked About You" - Everyone Asked About You
Starting off the list, we've got a song from the 1997 group Everyone Asked About You. Originating from Little Rock, the group supposedly only recorded a 12" and a handful of demos. A couple years back, the band remastered those demos and put it out as a full album. However, the bands standout song comes off of their original EP.
Mixing together indie pop with the sound of mid to late 90's emo was incredibly unique for the time, which is why I enjoy this group so much. The lead vocalists dreamy voice combined with the slow guitar riffs and soft electronic keyboard is a treat to listen to.
So hey, crank up your stereo and take a listen buddy. It's good.
2. "Angry Son" - Indian Summer
This song gets to me nearly every time I listen to it.
There is so little information on the band Indian Summer online that it's actually pretty impressive that this song ever surfaced. Forming in 1993, the band went on to only produce two EP's. Supposedly, the band never actually titled any of their songs, so fans over the years have just called the songs whatever they wanted. This one, in particular, is named "Angry Song"
There is just something about this song that stirs my emotions all over the place. The song captures the feeling of despair so well that it leaves me feeling somewhat drained emotionally. The band has a track of an old blues song with a woman singing over it on top of their slow, soothing guitar, with the vocalist quietly reciting a poem into the microphone. The song then explodes into a loud, fast, and angry tune with the vocalist screaming his lungs out. They play on the whole "quiet-loud-quiet-loud" concept brilliantly.
Indian Summer people. I've read that they supposedly would get so into the music, that they would sometimes end a set broken down in tears and hugging each other. I obviously have no way of checking this out myself, but I honestly wouldn't doubt it.
3. "February" - Mineral
Mineral almost had it all.
These guys were actually somewhat popular in the mid to late '90s, but were overshadowed by Sunny Day Real Estate. Mineral is known for their usage of the "quiet-loud" method of writing songs, but they added much more melody in their songs compared to others in the genre. And my favorite song by them, "February", is of no exception.
This song excellently represents what the month February is to most people: sad, dark, and shitty. The vocalist's voice is incredible for this band in my opinion. He drags out the lyrics, but his tone and range makes it work! Seriously, Mineral is not a band you should sleep on if you are at all into emo music. One of the better groups out there.
4. "Yellow Like Gold" - Split Lip
Do you ever just look at old pictures and wonder where all of those people are today? Look at the picture in the video I attached above. This was taken about twenty years ago. Think about how different all of these people probably are today. Think about where they are at, what they're doing, if they're happy, if they're sad, if they are dead, if they are alive. This was a moment in time captured forever. These people will never be able to go back to that night.
Anyways, Split Lip is a pretty good band! A bit more upbeat than my previous entries, this song reminds me a bit of early Sunny Day Real Estate and Texas Is The Reason. While not being anything particularly amazing or groundbreaking, I think this band was decent enough in their own right.
They have a somewhat generic late 90's alternative rock/emo sound going on, but that's okay! Sometimes that's all you need.
5. "c u in da ballpit" - Camping in Alaska
Hey look! A new(er) band!
These guys were, like most bands on this list, very short lived. But they sure knew how to write music. This band melds the old-school emo sound with midwest math rock to create something that sounds oh so good. The rest of their music is pretty good, but this song is a standout for me. And just look at that album cover. Classic.
There you have it, five emo bands you may or may not have heard of before. Emo always gets these shitty misconceptions because of the term, but the music behind it is SO good. Dive headfirst into the genre dude, you won't regret it.