Emo music wasn’t really a genre so much as a vibe. It was less about what the music sounded like than what you felt when you were listening to it. And what you felt was crushingly sad, alone, alienated, isolated and understood by only one person in the whole world, and that was whoever was singing the emo song you were listening to.
Its most popular purveyors were the likes of Dashboard Confessional, My Chemical Romance, Panic! At the Disco, Brand New and Paramore. Hey, speaking of Paramore, former lead singer Hayley Williams has a new podcast in the works in which she’ll delve into the tortured, anguished, misunderstood history of the ’00s most distinguishing sound. It’s called “Everything Is Emo” and we will be listening.
Not long ago, people started calling me a “veteran” of my scene and of the music industry. It sounds so funny to me because most of the time I still feel like a fan. The serious truth is I have, in fact, grown up in this scene for the last two decades. I guess that’s a pretty long time. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to publicly nerd out about bands and songs that make my favourite subgenre feel like home to me. And while it will be fun to take some trips down memory lane, I’m just as excited, if not more, to play music from new artists I’m discovering all the time.
Everything Is Emo is meant to feel like a conversation with other fans of the genre, young and (ahem) old. There’s going to be plenty of interaction, which I hope will feel somewhat reminiscent of the message boards and forums I used to frequent as a teenage scene kid.
More than anything, I hope music fans and artists alike will be psyched to hear a highly considered spectrum of “EMO” in all its forms. And yeah, of course you’ll hear some Paramore.
The first episode is live and you can listen to it over at BBC Sounds right now.
Since Paramore disbanded, Williams has become something of a Stevie Nicks figure to generations of younger fans currently mainlining the likes of Olivia Rodrigo, Phoebe Bridgers and Billie Eilish — the latter of which actually welcomed Williams onstage during her Coachella performance earlier this month for a take on the band’s iconic “Misery Business.”