Emo music has recently hit the charts, with its confessional lyrics and expressive melodies. But what is emo music, and why has it become so popular?
Emo, is a rock style of music that started as a branch of hard punk music in the late 1980’s. First originated to describe the Washington D.C. music scene in the early 80‘s, emo is now marketed and accepted worldwide. Defined as ‘emotional hardcore’, or ‘emocore’, rock bands immediately took a liking to this new style. With the new indie movement gaining popularity, some bands such as Sunny Day Real Estate have blended their own rock/punk with indie to create a version of emo. After the initial breeding of emo/indie and emocore the Midwest took the idea by storm, signing several labels of the new style.
Now, into the 2000’s, emo has moved into the mainstream music scene with bands such as Dashboard Confessional and Jimmy Eat World. Fall Out Boy has become more than popular with their own version of emo.
Emo, now, is not only about a new type of music, but has also influenced the fashion world. After the Nirvana grunge explosion, bands wanted to take the idea further. In the teenage world, emo, is all about the skinny jeans, tight-fitting ratted t-shirts and studded jewelry. Mixing overly bright clothes with black has thrown gender-specific clothing out the window. Young men are now proudly wearing eye liner, and women are wearing men’s chained jeans, to make an impact.
Some emo bands, such as Jawbreaker have taken emo to their extreme, writing lyrics about being sad a night, expressing bodily harm and unspoken phobias. Jimmy Eat World’s song ’The Middle’ took number one on the Billboards Modern Rock Tracks. This song, expressing a girl who feels saddened and left-out, and will, ’be alright’.
It has been said that sadness has already been lyricized by early rock bands such as Poison, screaming at relationship issues and heartache. But marketers believe that emo, takes that very idea to a new level. Corporations such as Coca-Cola and Microsoft have already sponsored a great deal of the newer emo bands, leading the soda drinking and internet worlds to quickly catch on.
Heavy emotion has not been an easy concept to turn into music. Most of the population turn their car radios on to be uplifted after a hard day’s work. Bands have recognized this, and Emo has been expanded to not also provide the population with songs of extreme happiness; although, this is not the norm. Bands like Texas Is the Reason and Fugazi were the first to initiate this swing in definition.
Emo has just begun to tear through the United States, Australia and England, although not so surprisingly, Amsterdam is one of emo’s largest selling cities. Adding electric riffs and dance influence, the emo style is adapting to what people like to hear on the radio. Emo is ambiguous. and it seems it will be, until further contributors begin to use similar elements. Although, metaphorically, emo’s gloomy roots still remain.
Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.