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The Emo Playlist That Will Bring Out Your Former Inner Emo Self

The Emo Playlist That Will Bring Out Your Former Inner Emo Self

Remember the carefree days between 2004-2009, when emo ruled the mainstream. It was a simpler time back then it seems, especially with all wonderful music that catered to our teenage self-esteem. Seems ironic these days that millennials and former emo kids have a far more cynical sense of humor and a melancholic outlook on life now, far more so than we did when were…”emo.” So maybe with how the times have changed it’s time to bring back some of that music, that feels all too relevant now. 

Here is an emo playlist that will bring out the former inner emo self you’ve tried to hide since growing out your fringe bangs. 

1. Ohio Is For Lovers-Hawthorn Heights

This might the ultimate emo anthem, if there ever was. The lyrics in the chorus seriously say, “so cut my wrists and black my eyes.”, and that’s literally the most emo thing I’ve ever heard. It’s a catchy song though!


2. Helena-My Chemical Romance

While My Chemical Romance had a lot of gothic influences in their look and lyrics, and even going so far as to disavow the whole emo trend, because of the suicide and self-harm controversy surrounding it, that didn’t stop all us kids with long black hair from adoring this band to bits. 

The video for Helena screams “goth goals” at least to me back when I was 9 years old, when it was at the moment I thought, “I wanna look like that!” A pivotal point in my life. But on a serious note, the song is actually discussing the negative consequences of suicide, pointing out that when a person takes their life, they are simply transferring all their pain and hurt to those around them. 


3. Miss Murder-AFI

AFI has gone through many inceptions over the years from punk with their first albums Answer That And Stay Fashionable and Very Proud Of Ya, to a term the fans decided, “goth punk” with their later albums. But in 2006 AFI dropped the album Decemberunderground, solidifying their place in the emo scene. No matter what category or name you want to give this album, or this era in AFI’s career, the hit track from the album Miss Murder became an emo staple in the mid-2000s. 

Also can we talk about this extremely underrated album for a minute? Every second of every song on this album was so well-thought out and planned, its one of those albums where every time you listen to it you hear something new. It’s so well-produced and came together beautifully with a  mix of Davey Havok’s perfect vocal duality and eloquent lyrics that 13 year old me needed a dictionary to understand.


4. The Kill-30 Seconds To Mars

There was a time when 30 Seconds to Mars owned the emo radio waves, and even Jared Leto rocked fringe bangs, among his many evolving hairstyles.  The lyrics in The Kill, are just as painfully heartfelt to listen to now as they were back in 2006.

“I tried to be someone else, but nothing seemed to change. I know now this is who I really am inside.” Every teenager, and young adult, alternative or not, can easily relate to this line, no matter the decade we’re living in. 


5. Misery Business-Paramore

Paramore’s hit Misery Business really set a tone for the late 2000’s, as this edgy song is full of bitterness and angst, felt by pretty much all teenagers and especially teenage girls. And while Hayley Williams has since matured since she wrote this song, no longer feeling like slut-shaming other women is appropriate, something we can all get behind these days, back in high school though we didn’t know better. Plus this song, is still super catchy and a great listen. 


6.Buried A Lie-Senses Fail

Senses Fail was one of those emo bands with lyrics that dealt more with inflicting pain upon other people, rather than ourselves, not limited to their endless songs that discussed murdering one’s girlfriend.  Buried A Lie, however, is a sweeter approach to their usual violent tracks, as it deals with trying to find our who murdered his beloved. 

7.The Last Something That Meant Anything-Mayday Parade

So I wasn’t a Mayday Parade fan during my emo heydays, it was only until a few years ago when I was in college that I discovered them, whilst going through a breakup. So while I may not know which songs all us former emo kids swore by, The Last Something That Meant Anything stands out to me as being painfully relevant and truthful, with its lyrics making the listener yearn for simpler days and easier times, feeling even nostalgic for a time that can never be again. Sad, right?


8. Make Damn Sure-Taking Back Sunday

One of the most well-known songs by the alt-rock band Taking Back Sunday it needs to be include on this emo playlist because 1) its’ catchy, 2) despite the dark lyrics you’ll can’t help but smile while listening, which seems to be the case for every emo song and 3) its accompanied by one of the least cheesy music videos to ever come out during the emo era.  Oh yeah, and when I was in middle school I totally had a crush on the singer, so there’s that. 


9. A Little Less Sixteen A Little More “Touch Me” Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy where among the KINGS of the emo era! Their upbeat-pop punk sounds mixed with catchy hooks and brutally honest lyrics that force you to examine your life and how things just don’t always go as planned, is all to relatable. 

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This track wasn’t the biggest single from their second album, becoming their best-selling album of all time, but the lyrics feel more personal and something many young people can relate too. “I don’t blame you for being you, but you can’t blame me for hating it.”, must have rung true for everyone at some point in their lives, right? 


10. Panic! At The Disco

Panic! At The Disco is one of the bands on the list that actually survived the emo era, and have continued to make music that goes beyond forlorn poetry, for happier, poppy sounds. But their album A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out was everywhere back in 2007/08. You couldn’t escape their cabaret, burlesque aesthetic mixed with lyrics about sad girls and doomed relationships, all woven in-between lines that were unexpectedly carnal. 

Panic! was even signed by none other than Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz, (talk about emo history), and while the album was released in 2005, the second single I Write Sins Not Tragedies was a force to be reckon with, playing everywhere by the late 2000’s. And nearly 15 years later, we’re still in love!



11. Not Good Enough For The Truth In Cliché-Escape The Fate

Oh, Escape The Fate with Ronnie Radke. Those were the days. Their debut album Dying Is Your Latest Fashion was king of the emo scene, before it all went to hell for this band, tragically enough. But before that, they had some great tunes we still admittedly like to rock out to and reminiscence. 

Somewhere and somehow along the way, within the emo scene, the fans often romanticized certain dark ideas which are clearly written out in a song like this. “sitting in this room, playing Russian roulette, finger on the trigger to my dear Juliet…” I don’t know why but this made us swoon. 


12. Apology-Alesana

Alesana has really evolved since the album On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax (The Emptiness is my favorite), but their song Apology just “screams” emo. A band like Alesana might be categorized as “screamo”, but more accurately are post-hardcore or metalcore band that utilizes guttural screams and clean singing when vocalizing their poetic, Gothic-style lyrics. Their album The Emptiness is solely based on Edgar Allen Poe’s poem Annabel Lee, by far one of my favorite concept albums of the 2010s. 

Their song Apology from On Frail Wings…consists of such lyrics like “I’ll lose myself in anguish for tonight, help me get over you. One last false apology, help me get over you. In my mind, blood drips from your eyes. A beautiful last goodbye.” The lyrics themselves have a more Gothic quality to them, but the sheer agony these words suggest and the vocalization style in their presentation, coupled with the fact this album was released in 2007 all makes it suitable for this emo playlist. 


Did this emo playlist take you back to 2007, making you yearn for those fringe bangs and snakebites again? What are some other emo songs you remember? Tell us in the comments below!

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