Midwest emo DeJamz


Midwest emo is one of the many genres that were quintessential in my high school upbringing.

What is it, though? It’s a subgenre of emo music that focuses on very well curated guitar riffs and very mediocre vocals. It resonates with those of us from the Midwest.

I also recognize that the band American Football is not on this list, but they are the original Midwest emo band. 

Covet – Basement

This song is so emo and so Midwestern. The first ten seconds of the song open with beautiful vocals, then immediately the heavy guitar riff comes in and blows everything out of the water. This song is filled with emotion. I got into Basement during quarantine, and this song resonated a lot. I wasn’t going through a breakup or anything, but I was away from all my friends and I didn’t have anyone to be emo with. 

Prototype of the Ultimate Life Form – Prince Daddy & The Hyena 

Coming from one of my favorite bands, this song was the one I listened to most in 2020. I remember listening to it on repeat during my two-hour commute to high school, feeling incredibly unprepared for whatever the day held. Being a Midwest emo song, it hit extra hard on below-zero mornings. 

YIKES (daddy wants wings) – Mom Jeans.

Mom Jeans. has become one of the most popular Midwest emo bands. This random collaboration EP from 2017 holds a piece of gold: this song. The guitar riff throughout is so calming and the lyrics are heavy, existential and goofy. It’s a perfect song. For the last two minutes of the song the band is sort of singing together, but clearly not all of them have mics and it’s phenomenal.

Numb But I Still Feel It – Title Fight

I will forever be sad about the suspension of this band. They simply stopped making music one day. They left us fans with so much goodness, though. They push the boundaries of emo and hardcore, with super heavy guitars and drums, but deep and harsh vocals. This song perfectly encompasses the feeling of being stuck in the Midwest with simply nothing to do. 

Tears Over Beers – Modern Baseball

There is a reason that this is Modern Baseball’s most popular song. It’s so quick, real and fun. The dynamic guitar riffs go along with the steady flow of lyrics. Hearing the lyrics, “I’m friendly and thoughtful and quite awfully pretty,” will always hold a special place in my heart. My best friend and I saw the title to this song once and immediately knew it was going to be a classic. The world needs to appreciate it.