Published Nov 16, 2013What is it?
Perhaps music's most nebulous term, emo was birthed by '80s DC hardcore. Known for its confessional (some say whiny) lyrics, by the end of the '90s, bands were fusing personal screeds with elements of punk, indie and post-rock.
Who's Doing It?
Second wave emo started with Bay area punks Jawbreaker (pictured) and ended when Dashboard Confessional went electric. Centred mostly in Midwestern and Central U.S., Braid, Christie Front Drive and Mike Kinsella's bands Cap 'n Jazz and American Football were all scene heavies. Labels Jade Tree Records (Texas is the Reason, the Promise Ring, Lifetime) and Vagrant (the Get Up Kids, Saves the Day) released classic albums. Grown Ups, Everyone Everywhere and many of the acts on the Topshelf and Tiny Engines labels are descendents of second-wave emo.
Where to Start?
Jimmy Eat World Clarity, Sunny Day Real Estate Diary, Into It. Over It. 52 Weeks.
The modern scene is centred in America's Northeast. Into It. Over It.'s Intersections, and Touché Amoré's Is Survived By both came out Sept 24.