God bless this comeback
Vicky Greer
12:37 20th January 2022

If you had told us just a few years ago that some of the most highly-anticipated new music in 2022 would be coming from Avril Lavigne and Paramore, we wouldn’t have believed you. But then again, there are a lot of things that we wouldn’t have believed. Two of the most iconic names of the noughties are not just making a comeback; they’re making their way back into mainstream culture, and with them comes the return of good old angsty pop-punk. In 2021, we heard the first whispers of the resurgence of a genre we thought we had left behind. In 2022, we’ll finally see pop-punk’s triumphant resurrection.

Considering the last few years, it’s not a massive surprise. When the first lockdown hit, a lot of people found themselves moving back in with their families...and there’s nothing like being back in the environment of your teenage years to make you fall into old habits. This sense of nostalgia while we were locked up in our homes manifested itself through music, with many of us turning to the angsty, guitar-fuelled tracks of our adolescence. Enter pop-punk, armed with a potent distaste for your hometown that tapped into the global mood of the time; a genre reborn from the intense boredom that we were all experiencing. There came a renewed interest in the bands of our teenage years, and the inspiration to spur on a whole new generation of artists.

The pop-punk revival is just one facet of a wider ‘Y2k’ explosion that embraces low-rise jeans, rhinestones, and anything linked to Legally Blonde. If you’ve been scrolling on TikTok or Depop recently, you’ll know that this is the next big thing in fashion - much to the dismay of anyone who lived through it. We’ve even seen a resurgence of that old school emo aesthetic, complete with scene queen side fringes that we would have killed for 20 years ago. It’s only logical that Paramore are back to celebrate with a guitar-centred album.

This revival of pop-punk is certainly putting an emphasis on the ‘pop’, interacting with mainstream culture more closely than ever before. 2021 saw even the most mainstream pop artists inject some electric guitar into their releases to get in on the ground floor of this phenomenon—most notably in Olivia Rodrigo’s smash summer hit and SOUR highlight ‘good 4 u’. Inspired by (with some accusations of plagiarising) Paramore’s early work, Hayley Williams is even credited as a songwriter. Around the same time, alt-pop hero WILLOW teamed up with Travis Barker and Avril Lavigne on her pop-punk inspired album Lately I Feel Everything.

More recently, the marriage between pop-punk and mainstream culture has been less subtle: Blink-182’s Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian announced their engagement last year, and Machine Gun Kelly just recently popped the question to actress Megan Fox. How’s that for a metaphor?

Although Avril Lavigne and Paramore are without a doubt creating the most buzz in 2022, they aren’t the only ones responsible for reviving the scene. Newcomers like KennyHoopla and Meet Me @ The Altar have taken that original spark and transformed it into something altogether new and exciting. In an interview for our recent Back To The Future Issue, the latter spoke about how they “fell in love with classic pop-punk”, bringing the genre back in its purest, technicolour form while simultaneously making the scene a more inclusive place. And the new generation of artists has the full support of the original icons, with Travis Barker appearing as a feature on New Music Friday playlists what feels like every week. In the coming year, we could see this relationship further cemented with the original icons working alongside up-and-comers to revive the scene...

There’s no doubt that pop-punk is going to be the next cult favourite in alternative music, and considering recent trends in the UK album charts, the genre could see some commercial success too. One thing for sure is that with artists like Meet Me @ The Altar leading the way, the scene is changing for the better. This year, we’ll hopefully see gloriously nostalgic pop-punk existing in spaces that are more inclusive than ever.

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Photo: Press