Our year-end lists for songs/albums of the years have all come out. But what about songs in specific beloved genres? Maybe genres that thrive most in the summer and sometimes in the fall, depending on the song or band that is.
I’m here to rank the Top 20 Pop-Punk and Emo Songs of 2022 and go down the rabbit hole of the highs last year had to offer us in these genres, that feel so interwoven in one another over the years.
Will your favorite band make the list, or will they come up just short? Or will they be ranked too low, or too high? Find out in my top 20 right now. View my ranking below:
20. “Addison Rae” by Magnolia Park
This band is starting to pop up everywhere due to their growing popularity on TikTok, and this song is a good example of why. It’s insanely catchy, reminiscent of the 2000’s, and has all the basics of what makes a sing-along pop-punk song. I can see people who dig Waterparks really vibing with and digging Magnolia Park and this song.
19. “Juice” by Dear Youth
One of the more underrated and lesser known bands in the list, but this song deserved a spot for being an absolute heater. From a catchy chorus to Oliver Baxxter of Broadside‘s feature absolutely stealing the show…this song alone should put Dear Youth on the map to being on more tours and being in the conversation of the genre more.
18. “Funeral Grey” by Waterparks
I had to include this one, as it’s from one of the more controversial bands in the genre as they aren’t afraid to say what they’re feeling in their music. This song had to be included, as being one of the best of their career and just being an absolute earworm of a track. This song is a pure example of why people care about Waterparks in regards to the scene and their presence they’ve gathered the past few years.
17. “i heard they found you face down inside your living room” by Can’t Swim
A band that’s been within the pop-punk and emo sphere for quite a few years now, Can’t Swim put out another consistent banger which simultaneously fucks and hits the feels right where it needs to. The lyrics hit hard about losing a loved one and dealing with the fallout of it. Be on the lookout for a new record coming from them this spring, it’s not gonna disappoint.
16. “Substance” by Demi Lovato
On the topic of pop artists going more towards or in this case back to the pop-punk side, Demi Lovato released an incredibly solid album with this banger in particular. Lovato is no stranger to the genre, as her early days had a lot of this kind of sound and it felt like a nice welcome back to it. The energetic vibe really fits the lyrics that accompany it as it reflects on her own inner demons and struggles.
15. “STFU” by Neck Deep
This track had to be included, as it’s a nice return to form of fellow pioneers of the modern era of pop-punk. This track is everything that makes Neck Deep soar, as it’s fast and feels light-hearted and doesn’t take itself too seriously while being about more serious topics at the same time. Weird right?
14. “Edging” by Blink-182
You know damn well this had to be on the list. The return of Tom DeLonge? Of course I had to, this song is a nice little nugget of what’s coming this year from possibly the most influential pop-punk band of all time. We’re back in the silly era of Blink-182 and I’m all here for it.
13. “Sour” by Eat Your Heart Out
Eat Your Heart Out is another band that doesn’t feel as if they’re on a lot of people’s radar, but this track is a great introduction to them. It feels oddly nostalgic as if it brings you back to a specific place in your life, and the creative music video that accompanies it really does a great job with that kind of feeling too.
12. “If You’re Drowning (I’ll Learn How to Hold My Breath)” by Yours Truly
This was easily the standout track on their incredible EP that they released earlier last year. It’s not a single, but I think it’s a track worth including for how catchy and it’s ability to balance a new and old sound of Yours Truly in one song. Hopefully this band is on more people’s radar after touring with I Prevail and Pierce the Veil late last year.
11. “Shaking Your Mind” by Bearings
What an ass beater of a track, truly can’t think of any other words to describe it. From a rock-influenced first verse to a chorus that flows incredibly well, and a wild second verse as well…this song is everything this band summed up into a song and I love it. Bearings are looking to be one of the new faces of modern pop-punk and I’m all here for it.
10. “Dumb” by Stand Atlantic
Easily one of my favorite bands from the newer era of pop-punk, Stand Atlantic has done a great job of combining pop-punk with a fresh new and more accessible sound mixed in…and this heater is no exception to that. Tom The Mail Man‘s feature goes so well with the vibe they’re going for, and along with Bonnie‘s vocals. It’s a good example of why they’re blowing up right now and gaining more and more fans by the second within the scene.
9. “Drink Milk and Run” by Hot Mulligan
Another one of my favorite newer bands, Hot Mulligan have always done an impeccable job at fusing pop-punk and emo perfectly into one thing. This track is a testament to that, but also furthering progression into where they wanna go next musically. The chorus makes it feel like it’s a more chaotic and angsty version of The Killers, and that’s honestly impressive.
8. “In April” by Anxious
Easily one of the more talked about new bands that are starting to get more and more attention from last year, after dropping their debut ‘Little Green House’. Anxious makes me feel the way like it’s 2013 and listening to bands like Title Fight, Citizen, or Basement for the first time. If tumblr was still as active as it was back then, I guarantee this band would everyone’s new obsession on there or this album would be as celebrated as Citizen‘s ‘Youth’ or Turnover‘s ‘Peripheral Vision’. This song is easily a standout from that record and it reminds me so much of that era of music, it’s refreshing yet nostalgic listening to it.
7. “Birthright” by Youth Fountain
Truly one of the more underrated bands right now. Youth Fountain continues to pump out quality pop-punk/emo music, especially with being a one-man band. This song is a great introduction to the feels, the energy, and the emotion from this band. Tyler Zanon‘s lyricism continue to be one of the more honest and genuine from the whole genre, and this song in particular deserved a spot on the list. Also, shoutout to how creative and old school this video feels.
6. “Ten Digits Away” by Koyo
Another band that came on my radar from last year solely. Koyo does a great job at evoking the more hardcore influenced side of pop-punk, similar to bands like Four Year Strong or Set Your Goals. This song just makes you wanna be at a show right now and just scream these lyrics in someone’s face. Keep an eye out for these guys, I guarantee they’re gonna stick around for quite some time.
5. “The King and Queen of Gasoline” by Hot Milk
This band is probably gonna take over the scene, and even the world soon. They’ve been slowly rising the past couple years with EP’s, and this song is a perfect reason why to keep them on your radar. This song feels so incredibly influenced by the early 2000’s, combining punk elements and poppier elements in parts for it to be one of the catchiest songs of 2022. Be sure to look out for Hot Milk‘s debut record to come out later this year, it’s gonna be wicked.
4. “Circles” by In Her Own Words
I’m telling all of you right now, if you’re a fan of pop-punk…you should absolutely listen to this band. They’ve been on my radar since 2017 and they’re simply incredible and this song is truly something special. It’s what I look for in the genre nowadays, catchy hooks sung by possibly the best frontman in the genre right now. Vocalist Joey Fleming‘s voice is truly angelic and he can sing anything and I would love that shit. And combined with Derek from State Champs‘ vocals? A match made in heaven really. In Her Own Words are easily one of the best bands to be doing it right now, and this track being on the list was a no-brainer.
3. “Old Friends Like Lost Teeth” by The Wonder Years
One of the pioneers of the modern era of pop-punk, The Wonder Years will always have a special place in my heart. This song in particular feels such a return to form for them, but in a new and refreshing way to showcase what we’ve always loved from this band. I can see this one being a mainstay for their live shows, as it goes truly hard live. Also shoutout to how fucking awesome the drums are on this track, I love it.
2. “Everybody But You” by State Champs
One of the best bands in the whole genre to be doing it right now, State Champs dropped an absolute heater at the beginning of 2022 and it’s been on repeat ever since. It’s the kind of song that makes you wanna roll your windows down in the summer heat and just jam out. They’ve always been the best kind of band to evoke that kind of feeling, for a specific season especially. Ben Barlow of Neck Deep‘s feature on this adds so much fun and him name dropping his own track in another band’s song is still such a power move. Shoutout to this band for always providing the jams.
1. “Object Permanence” by Arm’s Length
I was contemplating at the end of 2022 about what my album of the year was, and it was this band’s debut. Arm’s Length is an up and coming band in the genre, and they’re already turning heads with this song in particular. It’s such a good mixture of emo and energy-driven pop-punk all in one and them having the powerful lyrics to back it up as well. Plus, the breakdown at the end of the track goes extra hard and has no reason to be as wild as it is. Shoutout to this band for putting out not only one of the best songs, but one of the best debut records I’ve heard in a long time.