Moral Panic: Bright Eyes, My Chemical Romance and the rest of the week's emo news in brief

My Chemical Romance press shot
(Image credit: Warner Music)

Over the last few years, the 00s emo revival has been snowballing. With comeback tours, reformations, emo nights and new artists adopting the sound, it’s now somehow bigger than ever. In the last few months, the quiet hum of emo’s comeback has grown to a scream, and it’s here to stay. 2020 is the new 2005, so in this fortnightly column, Marianne Eloise, who’s been covering the revival since 2016, will round up (some) of the near-daily emo news: from new shows to new songs to cryptic clues.

Right now, new developments in the 00s emo revival seem to be happening literally daily. Ever since My Chemical Romance announced their LA comeback show back in October, we’ve been gifted regularly with cryptic hints or full-blown comebacks from our favourite artists of the era. The last two weeks have been particularly packed: from new MCR shows to Hayley Williams’ solo work (!) and a full-blown Bright Eyes reunion, emo isn’t going anywhere.

While the 00s emo revival will still have purists up in arms about what exactly counts – as expertly depicted in this recent Comedy Central video wherein four people argue about whether or not Fall Out Boy are emo – it’s undeniable that it’s back in the mainstream. Even tabloids covered the MCR news, and not even to get up in arms about them being a satanic cult. 

Being emo in 2020 without (much) risk of being beaten up in the shopping centre is a joy, so here’s some of the best revival news this week.

My Chemical Romance announced a UK show

When My Chemical Romance dropped their long-anticipated – and much doubted – return on us in October, it was tough not to feel disappointed that their only date seemed to be in LA. While some dedicated (see: rich) fans did fly across the pond to see their big comeback, many, many more could not. 

Luckily, they didn’t have to miss out entirely. On January 19, My Chemical Romance posted a video entitled An Offering. Cryptic as ever, the over two minute long video shows cloaked, skull-faced figures walking through a forest while music plays – music that fans believe could be from a new album. After some witchy imagery, there’s an announcement: MCR will be playing Milton Keynes’ Stadium MK on June 20. The announcement prompted excitement, memes, and mostly confusion – why Milton Keynes? Why was an image of Big Ben reflected in the water in the video for...a Milton Keynes show? Many people think the video is teasing more, but time will tell. 

The Milton Keynes show sold out almost immediately, leading MCR to announce a second MK date just hours after tickets went on sale.

Bright Eyes are back! Properly back!

After going on hiatus almost nine years ago, Bright Eyes launched an Instagram page recently with the obligatory semi-mysterious teaser post: a GIF of colourful floating bodies with the hashtag BrightEyes2020. Fans everywhere immediately started speculating about just what it could mean, but they didn’t have to wait long: we now know Bright Eyes are playing End of the Road Festival, some international dates, and have signed to indie label Dead Oceans to release new music. We don’t know just yet what that will sound like, but they’ve been working on it since 2019, and we’re definitely in for some surprises. I wrote about the comeback, and my intense feelings about it, more extensively earlier this week.

Hi. 👋 📷: @sbrackbill Bright Eyes

A photo posted by @brighteyesofficial on Jan 21, 2020 at 6:43am PST

Slam Dunk announced their first international festival

Pop punk festival Slam Dunk, which brings emos old and not-so-old together year after year, have announced that they’re taking the festivities abroad. Just a few days after the Leeds and Hatfield dates, Slam Dunk will be landing in Paris on Saturday May 30. Ten artists will be playing across two venues, five of which have already been announced: The Used, Four Year Strong and Grayscale will be joining two French acts. The rest of the lineup will be announced soon, but tickets go on sale January 24 – great news for French emos or anyone who fancies a pop punk pilgrimage.

Hayley Williams released new solo work

Recently, Paramore’s Hayley Williams announced that she’d be releasing solo music under the moniker Petals For Armor. After posting mysterious and beautiful photos of flowers, the night sky, and herself wrapped in plastic, she announced that the song and video would drop January 22. 

The song, Simmer, is nothing like anyone was expecting. Full of dark synths, electronic drums and very little guitar, it puts Hayley, her voice and her pain, front and centre. The song’s title and lyrics refer to her own simmering, swirling rage, and it’s a brutal, eloquent takedown of a man, presumably ex Chad Gilbert. 'And if my child needed protection/from a fucker like that man/I'd sooner gut him/cause nothing cuts like a mother' she viciously sings. The video shows Hayley running from herself through the woods before engaging in a pretty bloody ritual. This era for Hayley is nothing like we’ve ever seen from her before, and I can’t wait to see how far she takes her well-deserved rage. Her album, Petals For Armor, is out May 8.

All Time Low released a new song

With big, theatrical bands like My Chemical Romance and Creeper marketing themselves through cryptic hints, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. Even All Time Low, who never really went anywhere, but I guess it’s just fun to be included. 

Recently, they’ve been tweeting out videos that tease a new logo, new music, and presumably a new era. There’s been deleted videos, blacked-out profile pictures, and a video that shows a panda setting fire to a Last Young Renegade jacket. They then tweeted out a link to a video that aired on January 21 entitled Some Kind Of Disaster with the description, “reintroducing your favorite disaster, All Time Low. We took a step away for a minute- did some growing, did some soul searching, some healing... Now we're back and ready to be all yours again”. It’s unclear what’s next, but their fans have been enjoying putting the clues together.

That's all for this fortnight – check back in two weeks' time for the latest in the world's emo revival news