As an adult (my age being the source of my societal disquiet for today), I often find myself pushing down existential dread. I’m a young Millennial, and if Gen X is the gen of punk apathy and Gen Z is the gen of sardonic humor and social consciousness, Millennials are the gen of angst. I say that with so much love.
We grew up expecting one world and we got another. Gen Z, raised by older Millennials and young Gen X-ers, has grown up knowing the world Millennials were promised doesn’t exist anymore, and has by consequence coped with that knowledge as well as can be expected if not better. Highly independent and appropriately skeptical, Gen X takes a cynical stance, considering themselves the “forgotten generation” in the vein of the “Is there more than this?” and “Can I trust this?” apathy which to them I’ve already ascribed. Older Gen X-ers and younger Boomers well-meaningly sheltered their Millennial children from the dark realities of the world, thus leading to a whole generation that crumpled emotionally once exposed to the reality of society, human nature, and the social/environmental/economic outlook of the future.
That’s includes us, 90s babies. We’re the angsty ones. The “Emo” kids. Even I, as a lover of all things pink and pastel and girly, was called “Princess of Darkness” by my BFF and went through a phase of wearing ONLY black. It’s just facts, people.
Anyway, as a grown 90s child, I’m still just as prone to overwhelming dread and angst as the rest of you are when I look at the world with eyes unequipped to see things sardonically, and like many of you, I push down those feelings in order to “adult” in that way for which Gen Z–raised with open eyes and different coping skills–so often mocks us. We do this to manage. This is our mechanism. As teens and young adults, our angst often manifested in the “emo” music of yore, producing bands like “Secondhand Serenade” and “My Chemical Romance” with their distinctly dramatic imagery often involving active bleeding as a parallel to emotional woundedness.
Mainstream Gen Z is far too mordaciously inclined to need or appreciate this same aesthetic to that particular extent, however…
Yesterday, my friend clued me into this SoundCloud emo revival-esque trend going on right under our noses. She sent me the link to EYES ft. Rawska by Cold Hart & YAWNS, and all of a sudden, I felt like my angsty distinctly teenage heart had a place to emerge and a means of self-expression within my distinctly “adulting to cope” body. Until she shared this with me, I had forgotten how cathartic angsty music can really be, but these artists’ unique matter-of-fact, vaguely sardonic, pop-punk but /almost/ rap appeals to Millennial like me as we merge with Gen Z to say “F*** you, society.” I love that.
Anyway, here’s the song I’ve been blasting on repeat, and I share it here hoping you get something out of it, too.
If you like that, you should consider checking out their other songs like “Hot Pink Lighter.”
Love, Peace, Geese,
Shoujo (who is so out of it, apparently, that she almost typed her real first name–oops)