Summer is about to end and though some warm-ish weather remains, it’s time to accept the fact that for many of us, cold weather is on its way. Many people are now back to school, having left home after months spent with old friends, now accepting the passing of another season. We all appreciate the beachy vibes that have come over the past few summery months, but, as September is now upon us, it’s time to ready ourselves for the colder, darker times that aren’t exactly happy-go-lucky. With that, we present you with some tunes to get you prepped for the more emotional times to come.
01. American Football – “The Summer Ends”
– A list about emo songs? Who else could start it off? American Football are one of the best emo bands of all time and it’s impossible to not include them here. A sombre song that starts instrumentally and incorporates some horn, before vocalist Mike Kinsella gently sings a tune of uncertainty, likely for a relationship. Perfect for those leaving home for school, work, or whatever it may be.
02. Taking Back Sunday – “You’re So Last Summer”
– The kind of song you can duet with your best friend to help your broken heart. From 2002’s Tell All Your Friends, this is a perfect heartbreak song for the boys that are a dime a dozen and maybe got a bit in over their head this summer.
Dive into your sorrow with our official “Emo” playlist.
03. Fall Out Boy – “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy”
– Remember when Fall Out Boy were a proper pop-punk band? Good times. This banger from their debut release remains a staple to longtime fans and anyone nostalgic about the mid-2000’s era of pop-punk. From the video’s setting to the band and actors’ fashion choices, everything screams 2003.
04. Secondhand Serenade – “Maybe”
– A pretty deep cut compared to the rest of this list, and one worth bringing attention to. A “myspace emo” staple, Secondhand Serenade always knew how to tug at our heartstrings whether it be about heartbreak or just plain being sad. This song is arguably their strongest showing of that.
05. Brand New – “Soco Amaretto Lime”
– Ok, opinions on Brand New may be mixed these days, but don’t try and tell me you never felt these words during that transition at the end of your teenage years. While the legacy of this band is tainted for so many fans, their art has remained a staple and this tune is no exception. A perfect song for looking back on the days of feeling young and free, and for everyone who wants to stay eighteen forever.
06. Tiny Moving Parts – “Dakota”
– Going away to school? Facing a big change in life? Tiny Moving Parts feel that. Off their third album, This Couch Is Long and Full of Friendship, fear and eagerness for what happens next is the main point here, something we can all get behind.
07. Mayday Parade – “I Swear This Time I Mean It”
– You could be going through anything, ANYTHING, and odds are Mayday Parade has it covered. This Florida band has many songs eligible for this list, but I am settling with this cut from 2009’s Anywhere but Here, as it was an essential middle school tear-jerker. A tune of self-loathing and hoping for things to get better, this is one for those that are just trying to patch things up.
08. Modern Baseball – “Your Graduation”
– You know you still freak out whenever you hear “It’s been…” as this song begins, which earns it a spot here. Despite a current hiatus, Modern Baseball remains an integral part of the emo revival of the 2010s. This song off 2014’s You’re Gonna Miss It All is vocalist Brendan Lukens at his best, singing of grudges, the past, and hope for something that probably won’t come.
09. The Promise Ring – “Nothing Feels Good”
– Modern day emo bands are sick and all, but I can’t do this list without including the classic acts. Another band that is a late ‘90s staple, this tune is emo at its finest. The title track from their 1999 LP, vocalist Davey von Bohlen uses this two-minute track to express fear in what he hasn’t experienced and what he will as life goes on.
10. Mom Jeans – “Edward 40Hands”
– To close this out, we go to a tune that is more on the upside, both instrumentally and lyrically (at least compared to some of our other choices). Opening with dialogue from Bob’s Burgers (the origin of their band name) over a perfect emo-style guitar riff, the song remains high energy, going on about the girl he so desires, like cigarettes. An odd metaphor, but, hey, whatever gets the point across.