BLACK KOHL AND BAND TEES.
They’re two things that go together as well as cupcakes and sprinkles, especially if you’re a teenager with a lot of angst and nowhere else to channel it. I think the classic emo/pop-punk phase gets far too much hate from people, primarily adults, who see it as juvenile and cringeworthy, but I believe cringe culture serves little purpose other than to make people feel better than themselves at others’ expense – and besides, some of those songs were great, right?
Okay, so the lyrical complexity of these songs might not be as deep as we once believed, but nobody can deny the huge hit of nostalgia that comes whenever we hear them. And this type of music is important! It gives an outlet for expression of negative or complicated feelings that is entirely harmless, reassures people (mainly vulnerable teachers) that they are not alone, and allows experimentation with new identities. For me, my obsession with My Chemical Romance and Paramore was short-lived, but the lessons they taught me and the friendships I made through them live on, and that’s no bad thing.
IT’S NOT A PHASE, MOM
I have no idea if all these songs strictly fit the definition of emo/scene/pop-punk, but I do know it was a cause for great anger if someone or someone’s music taste was mislabelled back in secondary school – these are just the songs I most remember loving when I was in my dark-hair-darker-soul phase (thankfully, no pictures of this time survive). Regardless, I hope this playlist serves as a little reminder of those times, even if only to reassure me that I wasn’t the only one who loved them!