What is Emo?
Emo is a type of rock music that evolved from the original punk rock of the early 1980s. It differs from the original punk rock in the sense that “emo” music is said to have more “emotions” to it and its lyrics tend to be ridden with angst. The term “emo” is short for “emotive punk” or “emotional hardcore” which literally defines this genre of rock music. Many believe that this type of punk rock originated in Washington, DC at around the mid-1980s at the time when many original hardcore punk rock groups disbanded and/or changed directions with their music.
1980s was the time when pop music and disco tunes were extremely popular in the US and around the world. With proliferation of these types of music, punk rock groups emerged and were considered as alternatives to the hugely pop market in the US. But since many of the original punk rock bands in the US disbanded in the middle of 1980s, something has to fill the gap between pop and rock. This situation then led to the punk rock variation called “Emo” with punk roots but with a little more emotional and philosophical flare.
“Emo” also differentiated itself from the alternative rock and grudge scene with the trademark “emo look”. Many of Emo band members popularized the use of heavy eye makeup and a clean and more metrosexual look. This was copied by the fans and followers of these bands and eventually became a standard “emo get-up”. The “emo look” is another way of distancing the genre from the typical laid-back and dirtier “grunge rock look”.
In the urban world, the “emo” culture also developed as some sort of representation to the ‘angsty’ and emotional attitude portrayed by Emo type of songs. It is said that many teenage girls are attracted to “Emo-type” of boys which are considered having real emotions which girls can relate to.