Most of my posts on this blog have been about songs that would fall into the "emo rap" label. It seems that genre’s heyday has passed, gentle reader. Much like hyphy music peaking a couple years after Mac Dre's death in 2004, emo rap followed a similar trajectory after Lil Peep's death in 2017. What we are left with is the most notable artists of the genre leaning away from the rap side and into things like pop punk, post-punk, and dance music (Bladee's transition from sad cloud rap to hyperpop is something I could write a 10k-word essay on, but I'll spare you). There is only one artist from that emo rap wave that remains heavy in my rotation:
Drippin So Pretty's lyrics have always really connected with me. Idk what that says about me, because they all follow the same themes: 1. I used to do a lot of drugs 2. I have dark thoughts 3. some emo shit about a girl breaking his heart. I suppose I just appreciate the vulnerability of his lyrics. From the song above:
Tell me what you see in me because you can't let it go
Baby I'm just being me and I hate every bone
Then in the next verse he is bragging about getting his dick
sucked and threatening the listener with gun violence. DSP represents the
dichotomy of man in its purest form. We are all just a mix of cocky lil shit
and sad sack of shit.
One thing I love about Whirr is that their band name sounds like their music (I had to google to recall the word "onomatopoeia" lol): droning, hypnotic guitars conjuring a hazy atmosphere i.e. guitars going whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
The best form of music criticism in the post-blog 2020's is
random youtube comments and nothing tops descriptions of Whirr's music:
This song is like finishing a good book or
film, and not knowing what to do with your life after
Love it! Can't really beat that description.
Gleemer is my favorite band out right now. Just the right blend of wall-of-sound guitars, dreamy atmospheres, and accessible songwriting. The singer's vocals are great; emotional and longing, but always subtle and pushed back in the mix. I highly recommend their whole discography.
According to subreddit posts about Whirr and Gleemer, both bands fall under the rock subgenre of “Shoegaze”. This is because a common thought you have when gazing upon your shoes is "my guitar needs more reverb" (jk I know why it's called that, don't leave a snarky comment). It's a great genre though! Heavy and loud, without being angry, if that makes sense to you.
I cannot recall how I came across this song, but I have been listening to it constantly for the last 1.5 years. Something about the singer absolutely screaming his lungs out, while keeping a melody in his voice and the accompanying soaring emo guitars really hits the spot for me. Shoutout to the coffee machine and ugly lamp shade in the video. Very aesthetic!
I have this lil pet theory that the 80's set that standard for modern pop and the 90's set the standard for modern rock. You can hear 80's synths in countless modern pop songs, and it's been like that for years. Similarly, I have been hearing rock music with a strong grunge influence for over a decade now and I don't think it's going anywhere. Narrow Head have been making grungey rock for their entire decade-long career, but are so much more than a 90's revival band. Apart from the video's appearance and guitar tone, this song sounds pretty dang fresh to my ears. I love the change to a heavier tone at around 2:35 before the chorus (is this considered a bridge?). Check out Narrow Head if you are about that Seattle heroin life.
Ok that's all for now.
Rest in peace to Galen Kennedy AKA Nyquil. I'm sure he would
hate all these songs and goof on me for not continuing to bump mid-2000s Messy
Marv. Things are always changing for better or worse and I hope to appreciate
each moment in time a little more as it is happening. Some good posts to read about him: Link #1 & Link #2.
Please treat yourself with kindness.
Thomas is a former--wait no, current!--music blogger and ground turkey enthusiast living in North America. He used to have the best music blog of all time (100 Grand On My Wrist, Yeah Life Sucks) but it died. RIP 100grandonmywrist.com and RIP Nyquil. I'm still in the denial phase with both of you.