It’s Consequence’s 15th anniversary, and all September long we’ll be publishing a series of retrospective pieces encompassing our publication’s own history — and the entertainment landscape in general. Today, Associate Editor Abby Jones runs down the best emo albums of the last 15 years.
Emo was in a weird place 15 years ago. In 2007, rock’s most misunderstood subgenre was on the brink of a total overhaul — sentimental pop-punk bands like Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance had already released their most career-defining projects, bringing a close to what we now know as third-wave emo and clearing the path for something new in its wake.
Around the time Consequence was founded, fourth-wave emo — a.k.a. the emo revival — came in swinging, twinkly guitars and all. In a lot of ways, the subgenre was going back to its roots; this new crop of impassioned indie rockers sounded like Sunny Day Real Estate, proclaimed their love for Rites of Spring, and openly admitted to ripping off Cap’n Jazz. By the early 2010s, the emo revival had fully taken over.
You could argue that emo is in an even weirder place now. It’s no longer rare for blogs and forums that once detested the genre (yes, we’re probably guilty, too) to now praise it. Many would say we’re now well into emo’s fifth wave, although plenty of revival-era acts are still adding onto their already-prolific discographies with no signs of slowing down. Bands who have been broken up for less than a decade can announce reunion tours, and those tours can sell out.
But this is not the place to discuss what is or isn’t emo. Today, in honor of Consequence’s 15th birthday, we’re just here to round up some of the very best twinkly, mathy, whiny, and emotive releases of the past 15 years.
Like this list? Check out our ranking of the 100 Greatest Albums of All Time, and then snag some of our “Legends” merch (posters, T-shirts, and tote bags) at the Consequence Shop.
15. Origami Angel – Somewhere City (2019)
On their debut album, Somewhere City, Origami Angel — the D.C. duo of Ryland Heagy and Pat Doherty — flip the trope of suburban angst on its head: What if we actually could get out of here, and what if the place that awaits us is infinitely better? What if that place is within arm’s reach? Whimsical and vivid, Somewhere City is just as awe-inspiring as the metaphorical location.
14. Title Fight – Floral Green (2012)
If you’re of the mentality that real emo can and should only stem from post-hardcore, then Title Fight might be about as real as they come on Floral Green. The Pennsylvania band’s sophomore album saw the one-time pop-punk underdogs suit up for the big leagues with a more cosmic, heavy sound, while still putting their soaring melodies at the forefront.